Report identifies areas where natural disasters could hit hardest
Natural disasters made more severe by climate change will hit especially hard in regions with shaky political, economic, and security situations, says a new report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and relief agency CARE International. Vulnerable areas include central Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel; Afghanistan, the Caspian region, India, Iran, and Pakistan; and Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and Myanmar. “The likelihood of floods, violent storms, and droughts resulting in disasters is determined by a number of factors, including timely access to proper equipment, information, and the capacity to exert political influence,” says CARE’s Dr. Charles Ehrhart. More frequent and intense extreme-weather events, he notes, “will not necessarily cause a corresponding rise in disasters if world leaders act now.” The report recommends that humanitarian groups help strengthen local disaster preparedness and response capacity and focus beyond short-term aid.