Both the frequency of large-scale disasters – be they man-made events or natural hazards – and the severity of the losses involved have increased since the late 1980’s. There are strong reasons to expect this trend to continue.
Events such as the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the US or the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 have raised awareness among OECD member governments that risks associated with large-scale disasters can inflict considerable damage to the vital systems and infrastructures upon which our societies and economies depend. They have also made clear that modern catastrophic risks involve financial challenges of unprecedented magnitude to policymakers and a wide range of private sector players, including insurance and reinsurance companies.
Against this backdrop, the OECD organised a conference on 22-23 November 2004 in Paris, to stimulate high level policy discussion on ways to handle the losses caused by large-scale catastrophes.
This volume provides a selection of papers and reports presented at the conference. The combination of leading academic analysis, and information and experience sharing by governments and private sector representatives involved in the financial management of catastrophe risks, makes this publication a unique reference tool. This publication is part of the OECD's ongoing co-operation with non-member economies around the world and is co-sponsored by the Japanese Government.
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