Stories of Impact: Amplifying Serbia’s Financial Resilience Against Natural Hazards

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In May 2014, Serbia experienced its most severe flooding in more than a century, affecting 22% of its population, displacing 32,000 families and claiming 57 lives. A Recovery Needs Assessment supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) also revealed that in a matter of weeks, an estimated 125,000 people fell below the poverty line, illustrating the country’s vulnerability to extreme weather events.

Today, Serbia is better equipped to cope with hazard-related shocks and is able to streamline recovery efforts after a disaster. With support from GFDRR, the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Serbia has adopted one of the most comprehensive approaches to managing disaster risks: the National Disaster Risk Management Program (NDRMP). Recently, Serbia complemented that program with the National Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Strategy to respond more effectively to the financial impacts of disasters.


  • GFDRR and the World Bank supported the establishment of the National Disaster Risk Management Program (NDRMP), an umbrella framework which has managed more than $80 million to strengthen crisis management systems, inform risk reduction interventions, and implement measures to better absorb fiscal shocks caused by natural disasters.

  • GFDRR technical assistance informed the Law on Reconstruction following Natural and other Hazards, which reformed Serbia’s assistance and reconstruction system and introduced the “build back better” concept, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

  • Serbia has recently secured a Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), helping the country to access a contingent credit line of up to $70 million in rapid liquidity to directly support affected municipalities in the aftermath of a catastrophe without disrupting long-term development efforts.