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Different Continents, Different Humanitarian Problems: Disaster-prone Asia-Pacific

In our new series ‘Different Continents, Different Humanitarian Problems’, we take a macro look at some of the greatest challenges people face on each continent. This time we focus our attention on the Asia-Pacific region where natural disasters are becoming more destructive.

Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world

Natural calamities are becoming more frequent and intense in Asia-Pacific, the most disaster-prone region in the world, according to the latest report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

In the past couple of months, Typhoon Hato has caused large-scale damage in Hong Kong and Macau. The damage stretched all the way to Vietnam and resulted in torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal that claimed more than 900 lives and affected another 41 million people.

The ESCAP report shows that the enormous impacts of disasters are in areas which have the least capabilities to anticipate or respond to these calamities. The low-income countries in the region suffered almost 15 times more disaster deaths than the region’s high-income countries, between 2000 and 2015.

Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar underlined that the need to equip these regions with early warning systems is critical. She called for new sources of disaster risk financing to protect people’s lives and property.

“Disasters can, in a blink of an eye, 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. Developing cost-effective financing is needed to decrease the existing resilience gaps,” said Dr. Akhtar.

"Promoting more, and deeper, collaboration among countries in the region on disaster risk financing will be an ESCAP priority. We have the opportunity to get it right, and we cannot fail as millions of peoples' lives and livelihoods depend on it," she added. Aside from the lost lives, ESCAP research indicates that until 2030, forty percent of global economic losses from natural disasters will be in Asia and the Pacific.

Are you interested in more information about specific regions? Then do not hesitate to contact a local Raptim office through our quick address locator. We are glad to provide the necessary assistance from any of our 17 offices around the world. Be sure to check our daily updated blog for more humanitarian related updates and news.