(United Nations) Earthquakes, floods and storms: the world is not adequately prepared for disasters, which governments often only react to after they happen, denouncing a report published on Tuesday that calls for a rethink of risk management.
In 2015, the international community adopted the Sendai Targets to reduce loss and damage by 2030 by investing in risk assessment and reduction and preparedness for disasters – whether earthquakes or climate disasters enhanced by global warming.
But it is “highly unlikely” that the goals will be met, says the report by the International Science Council, which groups dozens of science organizations.
Since 1990, more than 10,700 disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts, floods, temperature extremes, storms, etc.) have affected more than 6 billion people worldwide, according to data from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. . Disasters. At the top of the list are floods and storms, multiplied by climate change, which account for 42% of the total.
These cascading disasters, the report says, “are undermining hard-won development gains in many parts of the world”.
But “while the international community moves quickly after disasters like the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, little attention and investment is directed toward long-term planning and prevention, whether it’s strengthening building codes or setting up warning systems,” commented in a press release Peter Gluckman, head of the think tank. international.
“The multiple challenges of the past three years have highlighted the fundamental need to improve preparedness for future disasters,” added Mami Mizutori, UN Special Representative for Risk Reduction. “We need to strengthen infrastructure, communities and ecosystems now, rather than rebuilding them later.”
Hence the report draws attention to the problem of resource allocation. For example, only 5.2% of aid to developing countries to deal with disasters between 2011 and 2022 was allocated to risk reduction, with the remainder going to relief and post-disaster reconstruction.
The ISC also calls for the mainstreaming of early warning systems, stating that warning of a storm 24 hours in advance could reduce damage by 30%.
A report published by the UN General Assembly at the end of January also asserted that countries were “not on track” to achieve the Sendai targets.
The number of people affected by disasters is increasing every year, as is the direct damage, which averaged $330 billion annually during the period 2015-2021.
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