UN says India lost $80 billion due to Natural Calamities in last 20 years

Climate change’ is making the development process very risky, mainly in developing nations like India. According to a study released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) on 10 October, the country faced economic losses of $80 billion in the last two decades - from 1998 to 2017. India is amongst the world’s top five nations in absolute economic losses.

Worldwide, calamity losses during this period have been calculated at $3 trillion. These losses have gone up by more than 120 percent in the last two decades if compared to the previous two decades. And if we only talk about climate-related disaster losses, then it has increased by more than 151 percent.

Head of UNISDR Mami Mizutori said, "The report makes it very obvious that monetary losses from extreme weather events are unsustainable and a major brake on eliminating poverty in danger exposed parts of the world." Mizutori stressed the need for the nations to hold economic losses which can help in calamity mitigation.

The UNISDR said, "In 1998 to 2017 period, disaster-hit nations reported direct financial losses of $2,908 billion, of which climate-related calamities accounted for $2,245 billion. And in 1978-1997, $1,313 billion losses were reported, of which climate-related calamities accounted for $895 billion.

UNISDR further said that "It is also clear that the economic losses suffered by low and lower-middle income nations have crippling consequences for their potential development and undermine our efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the eradication of poverty”. It must be noted that the study was conducted jointly by the UNIDR and Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

It is also pertinent to mention that in the last two decades, climate-related calamities have killed around 1.3 million people and left 4.4 billion wounded or homeless. And India is the worst victim of disaster-related deaths and economic losses. Earthquakes, storms or floods are not just common to India rather 3 European countries - France, Germany, and Italy are in the top 10 countries having suffered huge economic losses due to these climate change disasters.

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