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Natural disaster costs set to rise sharply - new report

Thousands of people lost their homes and livelihoods when Cyclone Giri struck western Myanmar on 22 October, 2010. A flattened home in Rakhine State
(Courtesy of UNDP Myanmar)

A new report by the World Bank and the UN says the cost of coping with natural disasters could triple to US$185 billion per year by the end of the century.

The report - compiled mainly by economists over two years - said the projection did not include climate change impact costs. But added more frequent and intense tropical cyclones because of climate change could raise total costs by an additional $28-$68 billion a year by 2100.

Entitled Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention,  the report makes four main policy suggestions to governments: make information more easily accessible to prevent disasters; permit land and housing markets to function; provide adequate infrastructure and public services; help develop effective oversight institutions.

Meanwhile, donors need to focus more on prevention: “About a fifth of total humanitarian aid between 2000 and 2008 was devoted to spending on disaster relief and response" but far less was spent on prevention, it said.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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