Governments, humanitarian organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) have had a long-standing role in building resilience and mitigating the impacts of disasters whereas the private sector has traditionally been classified as a non-traditional actor in disaster risk management (DRM). Nonetheless, the growing potential of businesses as a ‘key actor to achieve change’ has become evident in the last decade.
The private sector is already heavily involved in disaster reduction either through philanthropic or charitable purposes or commercial engagement as part of their core business through the provision of expertise or supply of goods and services rated. This tangible engagement in disaster management has manifested itself in several different ways including direct assistance to communities, disaster preparedness for enterprises themselves, developing innovative products based on business technology and expertise, and joint projects with non-government organizations (NGOs), governments, and international organizations as co-implementers as well as the establishment of private foundations, NGOs, and trusts with a mandate for addressing disaster-related challenges.
Ultimately, businesses of any size are a ‘for-profit’ endeavor and would need to be certain of the value of continued engagement in disaster management initiatives at different scales whether it be at the global, regional, national, or local level. As such, there is still a pertinent need to establish a coherent and definitive ‘business case’ for businesses to involve in disaster management considering both the need to safeguard their operations in the face of disruptive events as well contribute to the overall resilience of the communities and societies in which they are embedded.
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