The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced pilot projects with the private sector in Caribbean countries, Indonesia, and Vietnam to advance innovative solutions to reduce the risk and impact of natural disasters.

“These projects are aimed at helping the humanitarian community understand how the private sector can make investments to mitigate the risk of disasters, increase businesses’ participation in community disaster-preparedness plans and policies, help reduce the social and economic impact of disasters, and support communities’ efforts to recover and rebuild after disaster strikes,” USAID said in a release Wednesday.

The USAID-funded pilot programmes are designed to help governments and civil society develop stronger relationships with private-sector actors and develop mutually beneficial projects that strengthen the resilience of entire communities. 

The pilot programme for the Caribbean will see the non-profit organisation, The Global Knowledge Initiative, with support from Boston-based consulting firm 1Row, working to increase private-sector engagement and investment to reduce the risk of disasters and improve the response to them. 

“This pilot will help channel private-sector contributions to disaster-preparedness by helping companies recognise that disaster-resilient communities help their bottom lines.”

The Global Knowlege Initiative is a Washington-based non-profit organisation focused on maximising what’s available to solve pressing global development problems like food insecurity, environmental degradation, and disease control and prevention.

In Indonesia, Miyamoto International will work to strengthen the private-sector’s preparedness for earthquakes and other natural disasters and integrate the business community into national and local planning to mitigate their social and economic impact. 

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In Vietnam, the Asia Foundation, in partnership with ISET International, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Vietnam Institue for Development Strategy, will bring together key private-sector, local government, and civil society actors to design collaboratively and launch multi-stakeholder pilot projects to strengthen flood-mitigation efforts and improve the management of water networks in the coastal city of Quy Nhơn, in Bình Định Province.

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USAID reported that it responds to an average of 75 disasters in more than 70 countries every year. 

“Through collaboration with the private sector, USAID can harness innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to improve the efficiency of humanitarian assistance.”

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