Over 140 disasters hit 64m people, loss stands at $57b in Asia-Pacific region last year: Report

Over 140 disasters hit 64m people, loss stands at $57b in Asia-Pacific region last year: Report

As temperatures continue to rise, new disaster hotspots are emerging

According to a new report from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in 2022 alone, over 140 disasters struck the region, leading to over 7,500 deaths.

They impacted 64 million people, and caused economic damage estimated at $57 billion. Under a 2°C warming scenario, the ESCAP projects an increase in deaths and potential economic losses of more than $1 trillion, if there is no adequate response.

“As temperatures continue to rise, new disaster hotspots are emerging, and existing ones are intensifying,” Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, said.

Over 140 disasters hit 64m people, loss stands at $57b in Asia-Pacific region last year: Report
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According to a new report from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in 2022 alone, over 140 disasters struck the region, leading to over 7,500 deaths. They impacted 64 million people, and caused economic damage estimated at $57 billion. Under a 2°C warming scenario, the ESCAP projects an increase in deaths and potential economic losses of more than $1 trillion, if there is no adequate response.“As temperatures continue to rise, new disaster hotspots are emerging, and existing ones are intensifying,” Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, said.

“A disaster emergency is underway, and we must fundamentally transform our approach to building resilience.” The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2023, ESCAP’s flagship study on the changing patterns of disasters, their impacts, and building resilience, was launched at its Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction, which convenes governments, experts and stakeholders in the region. This year it’s targeting transformative adaptation, to better safeguard vulnerable households and livelihoods in disaster-prone hotspots, ESCAP said.The Committee is also expected to endorse a regional strategy to have early warning services up and running for all by 2027, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s pledge. New and evolving technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud sourcing, also have a major role to play. They are “very important and very strategic” for mitigating disaster risk, building resilience and strengthening climate action, Alisjahbana told UN News in an interview.

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