The Cost of Disaster for Asia-Pacific

The Cost of Disaster for Asia-PacificThe Cost of Disaster for Asia-Pacific

Some 88 per cent of the people affected by natural disasters worldwide in the past 45 years live in the Asia and Pacific region, United Nations Information Centers (UNIC) reported. A new report issued this week by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, illustrates how floods, storms, earthquakes and tsunamis have been the most violent natural disasters in the region. The Overview of Natural Disasters and their Impacts in Asia and the Pacific, 1970 – 2014 shows a decline in the average number of fatalities per event, despite a rise in the number of natural disasters. However, the economic losses in the region have surged significantly from US$ 5 billion per year in the 1970s to around US$ 75 billion per year in recent years. “Disasters reverse socio-economic gains and disrupt long term growth paths. The region needs to build resilience to disaster in order to protect its growth prospects,” said Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP.