Four out of five natural disasters in the last decade have been caused by extreme weather and climate-related events, according to the annual World Disaster Report from the Red Cross. Such disasters, which include floods, storms and heat waves, have led to more than 410,000 deaths since 2010, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Tuesday in Geneva.
The Humanitarian Aid Group estimates that the lives of 1.7 billion people were disrupted when they lost family members, homes, livestock, farmland and livelihoods.
The pandemic has exacerbated the difficulties for poor countries and societies struggling to cope with deteriorating climate and weather conditions as the COVID-19 situation sucks up scarce resources, it noted. In the first six months after the pandemic was declared in March, more than 100 disasters occurred, from floods to storms that affected more than 50 million people. Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC, cited Sudan as a country that had been subjected to such pressure, first a grasshopper attack, then COVID-19, followed by severe floods.
Five of eight countries with very high climate vulnerability – Somalia, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan and Afghanistan – received less than $ 1 per person in international adaptation funding in 2018, the report stated. This is partly because aid financiers often avoid making climate investments in politically unstable countries with weak governments and fear that their money will be wasted. The report called on donors to clearly identify the most climate – vulnerable countries and to make responsible commitments to support them, including specific funding windows for fragile states.