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Disaster Risk Reduction

Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world. A person living in the region is almost twice as likely to be affected by a disaster as a person living in Africa, almost six times as likely compared with Latin America and the Caribbean, and 30 times more likely than a person living in North America or Europe. In 2015 alone, 160 disasters were reported in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 47 per cent of the world’s 344 disasters, and these caused over US $45 billion in damages. Rapid economic growth and population expansion over the coming decades, along with the impacts of climate change, will increase the exposure and vulnerability of the region to disasters. As disasters disrupt all sectors of the economy and destroy hard-earned development gains, it is crucial that effective disaster risk reduction measures are integrated into development plans and poverty reduction strategies.


Investing in innovative solutions to manage cascading disaster risks in South Asia: Key takeaways for stakeholders

At present, South Asia is among the sub-regions where the spread of COVID-19 transmission is peaking. The intersection of the pandemic with the climate emergencies has created challenges that sub-region has not dealt with before and could magnify the negative impacts in some countries. Implementation of response strategies and pre-emptive actions that factor into the current pandemic are needed to protect the vulnerable community exposed to extreme climate events from becoming new epicentres of the pandemic.

Protecting the most vulnerable to cascading risks from climate extremes and the COVID-19 in South Asia

South Asia is at a crossroad of the cascading risks emanating from the rapid spread of the Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) and climate extremes in monsoon months. Every year, people in the subregion suffer from various climate hazards such as floods, droughts, tropical cyclones and heat waves. This is likely to continue this year in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Impact-based forecasting signals an evolution from “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do” and thus bridges the gaps between national weather services and the end users such as disaster risk management and development sector communities. It is a user-friendly way of communicating the climate risk information to support risk-informed and strategic decision-making for enhanced preparedness and in-season policy interventions.

Scenario-based risk analytics for managing cascading disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that biological and natural hazards intersect with each other and increase the complexity of overall disaster impacts on populations and economies. But disaster management and risk analytics have been slow to capture the intersections of natural and biological hazards or capture the dimensions of interconnectedness and cascading effects to the social, economic, and environmental ecosystems.

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Overview map of latest disaster alerts

© 2016 United Nations / European Union. Map of disaster alerts in the past 4 days. Last 24 hours events are highlighted in yellow. Small earthquakes are shown as green boxes. Retrieved from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.