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World heading for catastrophe over natural disasters, risk expert warns - 25th April

Drought

The world’s failure to prepare for natural disasters will have “inconceivably bad” consequences as climate change fuels a huge increase in catastrophic droughts and floods and the humanitarian crises that follow, the UN’s head of disaster planning has warned.

Last year, earthquakes, floods, heatwaves and landslides left 22,773 people dead, affected 98.6 million others and caused £47 billion of economic damage. Yet the international community spends less than half of one per cent of the global aid budget on mitigating the risks posed by such hazards.

Robert Glasser, the special representative of the secretary general for disaster risk reduction, said that with the world already “falling short” in its response to humanitarian emergencies, things would only get worse as climate change adds to the pressure. He also stated that ‘'Failure to plan properly by factoring in the effects of climate change, would result in a steep rise in the vulnerability of those people already most exposed to natural hazards.’’

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