New Delhi: India suffered economic losses of about Rs 6 lakh crore in the last two decades due to natural disasters, a UN report has said.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) noted that “climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events” such as tsunamis, floods and storms, particularly in lower-middle countries like India.
India is one of the top five countries to have reported absolute economic losses, which hurt the global economy by $3 trillion during the 20-year period from 1998 to 2017.
While the total disaster losses have increased by 120 per cent compared to the previous 20 years, the climate-related reduction was estimated to have spiked 250 per cent.
“It is clear that the economic losses suffered by low and lower-middle income countries have crippling consequences for their future development and undermine our efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, the eradication of poverty,” the UNISDR said, as reported by The Times of India.
“The report’s analysis makes it clear that economic losses from extreme weather events are unsustainable and a major brake on eradicating poverty in hazard-exposed parts of the world,” the UN secretary general’s special representative for disaster reduction, Mami Mizutori, said in a statement.
UNISDR counted the number of climate-related disasters between 1998-2017 at more than 6,600, which killed 1.3 million people and left 4.4 billion injured and homeless.
The report added that while earthquakes and tsunamis claim most lives, more than 90 per cent of them were caused by storms and floods and other extreme weather events.