The world is not adequately prepared for disasters, the report says

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Earthquakes, floods, storms—the world is ill-prepared to deal with increasing disasters, says a report published Tuesday that calls for a review of global risk management.

Since 1990, more than 10,700 disasters have affected more than six billion people worldwide, according to data from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

In 2015, the international community adopted global targets to reduce loss and damage by the year 2030 by investing in risk assessment and reduction, as well as disaster preparedness, in a statement known as the “Sendai Framework”.

However, it is “highly unlikely that we will achieve the Sendai Framework targets by 2030, given current trends,” said a report by the International Council on Science, which includes dozens of scientific organizations.

Floods and storms, exacerbated by climate change, top the list of disasters, accounting for 42% of the total.

Catastrophic disasters are “halting hard-won development gains in many parts of the world,” the report says.

“Too little attention and investment is given to long-term planning and prevention, from strengthening building codes to adopting hazard warning systems,” said Peter Gluckman, president of the ISC.

This lack of preparedness comes even as the international community mobilizes quickly after disasters such as the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, he added.

Mami Mizutori, UN special representative for disaster risk reduction, said “the multiple challenges of the past three years have revealed the fundamental need for greater global preparedness for the next disaster.”

“We need to strengthen our infrastructure, communities and ecosystems now, instead of rebuilding them later,” he added.

The report further drew attention to issues of resource allocation. For example, only 5.2 percent of disaster relief aid to developing countries between 2011 and 2022 was devoted to risk reduction. The remainder was earmarked for post-disaster relief and reconstruction.

The ISC calls for widespread deployment of early warning systems, noting that 24 hours notice of a storm could reduce damage by 30 percent.

A report released in late January by the UN General Assembly also noted that countries were not on track to meet the Sendai targets.

Not only is the number of people affected by disasters increasing each year, but so are the direct damages, which averaged $330 billion annually over the period 2015-2021.

© 2023 AFP

Reference: World inadequately prepared for disasters, says report (2023, March 1) Retrieved March 1, 2023, from

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