Disaster risk management is essential in the fight against poverty. Disasters can, in an instant, wipe out decades of hard-fought poverty reduction and development gains and push countless households into poverty. Disasters disproportionally affect the poor: Vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, are at particular risk. East Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-stricken region in the world, suffering from small recurrent as well as rare high-impact events. East Asia is rapidly urbanizing, and cities are becoming disaster hotspots. Unplanned or poorly planned urbanization, which puts more people and assets in harm s way, is the single largest driver of disaster risk. There is deep uncertainty about future disaster and climate risks, challenging our ability to adapt to new developments and changing the physical and natural environment. Decision makers can make a significant difference by effectively managing disaster risk and building resilience. With education and communication, preparedness, and investments, urbanization can be channeled as a tremendous positive force for development. By decreasing disaster exposure and vulnerability through systematic assessments and communication of risks, better land-use planning, and many other practical measures, the impacts of natural hazards can be reduced significantly. At the same time, it is necessary to recognize that the risks of disasters cannot be entirely eliminated, and countries need to plan for failure by considering different scenarios, especially within complex systems and networks. Preventive investments in risk reduction and emergency preparedness can be extremely cost-effective and can greatly reduce the impact of natural hazards. Governments can prioritize actions based on informed decisions about the level of risk to reduce the risks from disasters. Public investments, such as early-warning systems, retrofitting of critical infrastructure at risk, and mainstreaming systematic risk assessments into relevant public investment planning processes, can help to reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth. The World Bank supports countries around the world in mainstreaming a comprehensive and integrated approach to disaster risk management into development. The World Bank provides analytical and advisory services, helps to build climate and disaster resilience into core investments across sectors, and offers unique financial solutions to better manage the contingent fiscal risks from disasters.