The cascading disasters are ‘setting back hard-won development gains in many parts of the world’
The world is not adequately prepared to face increasing disasters – such as earthquakes, floods, and storms – a Tuesday report said, calling for a rethink on global risk management.
Since 1990, more than 10,700 natural disasters have affected over six billion people worldwide, according to data from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in a declaration known as the “Sendai Framework.”
In 2015, the international community adopted global goals to lower casualties and damage by the year 2030 by investing in risk evaluation and reduction, as well as disaster preparedness. However, it is “highly unlikely” that such goals will be met “given current trends,” according to a report by the International Science Council (ISC), which consists of dozens of scientific groups.
The cascading disasters are “setting back hard-won development gains in many parts of the world,” the ISC warned.
“Far too little attention and investment are put to long-term planning and prevention, from strengthening building codes to adopting hazard alert systems,” said ISC President Peter Gluckman, adding that the lack of preparedness comes even as the international community is quick to mobilize after disasters, such as with the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Not only is the number of people affected by disasters each year increasing, but so is the direct damage, which reached an average of $330 billion per year from 2015 to 2021.
Floods and storms, which have been exacerbated by climate change, top the list of disasters and account for 42 percent of the total. The ISC called for the widespread deployment of early warning systems, noting that 24-hour notice of a storm could reduce damage by 30 percent.