Asia-Pacific countries urged to prepare vs disaster risk

Shara Mae Balce
PUBLISHED October 12, 2017 03:04 pm

(Inside Manila) The United Nations has urged the countries in Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, to invest in resilience plans against the disruptive impacts of natural disasters.


According to the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2017, countries who have the least capacity to respond on unprecedented disasters would experience the catastrophes’ greatest impacts.


These countries—Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia are among others—are those in the Asia-Pacific, which is considered as the most disaster-prone region in the world.


People living in the said region are most likely to be affected by the disasters five times more than in those in other regions.


The same report also said that about 4,987 people were killed in floods, storms, and extreme temperatures, while affecting some 34.5 million. This number is higher that the annual average reported in 1970.


Moreover, Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) said that disasters can have “deeply disruptive effects on livelihoods."


She added that this occurrence could lead to putting people in the most disaster-prone region at risk of being pushed back into poverty.


“Disasters can very quickly strip poor people of their livelihoods bringing deeply disruptive impacts that push them back into absolute poverty or trap them in an intergenerational transmission of poverty,” Akhtar explained.


She then urged the countries to work on enhancing their development plans in dealing with disasters as the "the absence of an institutionalized insurance culture and adequate post-disaster financing threaten our extraordinary economic and developmental achievements."


ESCAP also called for mitigation of disaster risk linked to climate change, which includes mounting an early warning system and investing in disaster risk education.

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