The impact of extreme natural disasters has been put at about $520 billion loss in annual consumption globally.
This was revealed in a new report from the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
The report, ‘Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters’, also confirmed that the situation forces some 26 million people into poverty each year.
According to the research work, the combined human and economic impacts of extreme weather on poverty are far more devastating than previously understood.
Speaking on the dangers of the trend of natural disasters, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim said, “Severe climate shocks threaten to roll back decades of progress against poverty.”
To him, “Storms, floods, and droughts have dire human and economic consequences, with poor people often paying the heaviest price. Building resilience to disasters not only makes economic sense, it is a moral imperative.”
The research took a study of 117 countries and affirmed that the effect on well-being, measured in terms of lost consumption, is found to be larger than asset losses. This is adduced to the fact that poor people have a limited ability to cope with natural disaster.
With the climate summit, COP22, underway, the report’s findings underscore the urgency for climate-smart policies that better protect the most vulnerable.
Poor people are typically more exposed to natural hazards, losing more as a share of their wealth and are often unable to draw on support from family, friends, financial systems, or governments.