India has endured economic losses of whopping $79.5 billion in the past 20 years because of the natural disasters, as per a report released by the United Nations that highlights the severe impact of climate-related disasters globally.
The report, ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’, states that between the years 1998 and 2017, the global economy has witnessed a rise of 151 per cent losses due to extreme weather events when compared to the losses recorded between 1978-’97.
Globally, 1.3 million people died and 4.4 billion suffered from injuries, became homeless, displaced or required emergency assistance due to natural and geophysical disasters between the years 1998 and 2017, the report said.
The report was put together and published by the United Nations Office for ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ on October 13. Geophysical disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes caused the highest cases of fatalities. However, 90 per cent of climate-related disasters like droughts, heatwaves, floods and storms, the report further said.
This shows an increasing threat from changing climatic conditions, with 77 per cent of total economic losses occurring due to extreme climate-related events.
Regarding extreme economic losses during 1998-2017, the most affected countries are the United States standing at $944.8 billion, China standing at $492.2 billion, Japan at $376.3 billion, India ranks fourth at $79.5 billion and lastly, Puerto Rico standing at $71.7 billion.
Floods (43.4%) followed by storms (28.2%) were the most frequently occurring climate-related disasters accounting for nearly 91% of all the major events over the last 20 years.
Around 130 people lost their lives per million in the areas affected by disaster across low-income countries than compared to only 18 people who died in the high-income countries, the report noted. As a solution to the ever-growing climate change, the report concludes by saying that investment decisions should include disaster risk reduction to lower the risk of disasters.