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regions | 23 Apr 2013

SwissRe Foundation announces GEM South America Project at World Economic Forum

Adjusted from "Una esquina de Ciudad del Este" by Roger Schultz

In the rapidly developing region of South America, the GEM Foundation together with collaborators from throughout the region and supported by the SwissRe Foundation, is undertaking an important project on integrated, collaborative risk assessment, which will result in tools, datasets and many more resources for local experts and governments to use in assessing and managing risk from earthquakes.

Michel M. Liès, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Re Foundation and Group CEO of Swiss Re, says: "Earthquakes are a clear and ever present risk in Latin America. Between 1977 and 2012, these natural disasters nearly claimed 80,000 lives and caused economic losses of more than USD 37 billion. As a reinsurer, our job is to enable individuals, companies and in some cases governments to rebound quickly after a catastrophe. I am therefore excited to see that under the umbrella of Swiss Re Foundation and the GEM Foundation, local researchers from all relevant disciplines will work together to better understand the full impact of an earthquake on such areas as metropolitan Lima or Quito."

Rui Pinho, Secretary General of the GEM Foundation, commented, “All GEM partners have a common mission: to provide organisations and people with tools and resources for transparent assessment of earthquake risk anywhere in the world. We are very pleased that the Swiss Re Foundation is financing this important regional project in South America, because it is at the local scale where scientists, decision-makers, organisations and individuals can make a difference and work together to make nations and cities safer from earthquakes.“

The project aims to identify and estimate the compounding social and economic factors that increase the physical damage of an earthquake and decrease the ability of the local populations to cope with the after-effects of an event and will feature city scenario development for Lima and Quito, involving local institutions as much as possible.

As we speak discussions are ongoing between key stakeholders in Quito setting up the collaboration for the city scenarios and the same happened in Lima 2 weeks ago. The project is hence a true bottom-up project, in which collaboration and knowledge sharing with and between local experts and actors play a central role.

Read more on the project.

Press Release

Download the press release in English:

GEM-SwissRe Foundation collaborative risk assessment in South America - press release (EN) (105.5 KB)

Download the press release in Spanish:

GEM-SwissRe Foundation collaborative risk assessment in South America - press release (SP) (102.7 KB)

 

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