World is not spending enough to prevent disasters, says UN | International

Nations are spending too little to prevent disasters in the face of rising global calamities, from floods in South Africa to a record-breaking heatwave in India.

Of the $133 billion in disaster-related funding available between 2010 and 2019, only 4% was spent on risk reduction, with the rest going to costlier post-disaster responses, said Mami Mizutori, head of the United Nations Office. United Nations for Disaster Risk Reduction, in a press release. interview.

“This is the new disaster risk landscape,” Mizutori said ahead of a global forum on disaster risk reduction in Bali. “We live in a world of multiple risks with cumulative effects, and we need to invest more in prevention.”

This funding shortfall comes at a time when countries are grappling with natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts after years of battling the pandemic. Developing countries bear the brunt of disaster losses at 1% of gross domestic product per year, threatening to undo their hard-earned economic gains. This figure boils down to only 0.1% to 0.3% for developed countries.

The UN agency is discussing with lenders and donors the possibility of shifting more funds towards disaster prevention, including making infrastructure more resilient, Mizutori said. This is a difficult trade-off for recipient countries that have short-term development needs and face potentially greater disaster losses.

“We need to stop looking at things in terms of numbers, but also in terms of quality, and that requires courage from both the donor community and the recipient community,” she said.

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