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Jan 2022

APAC natural hazard risk 16x North America and Europe

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Dec 2021

APAC is four times more at risk of natural hazards than those in Africa and 16 times more than North America or Europe. The ‘riskscape’ arises not only from inherent natural, biological and environmental hazards of the region but also from socio-economic vulnerabilities and rapid urbanisation according to UN-ESCAP.
UN-ESCAP chief of disaster risk reduction Sanjay Srivastava told Indian daily Business Line, “In recent years, climate risk is outpacing resilience measures while the root causes of this risk remain unaddressed. Indeed, building resilience is the common thread across all goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Mr Srivastava said, “Exposure to climate events increases inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, by 0.24 percentage points. Further, a one percentage point rise in exposure to climate hazards increases the under-five mortality rate by 0.3 percentage points and decreases education rates by 0.26 percentage points.”
ESCAP estimates the total climate adaptation costs for cascading hazards (natural and biological) under an extreme climate change scenario at $270bn for Asia and the Pacific, which is around 20% of the estimated annualised average loss.
The highest cost as percentage of GDP is recorded in the Pacific small island developing states with 9.1% in Vanuatu and 7.4% in Tonga. Given the specific ‘riskscape’ in this group of countries, their adaptation priorities include making water resource management resilient and improving dryland agriculture crop production followed by protecting mangroves, strengthening early warning systems and making new infrastructure resilient.
High exposure to drought along with a large share of the employed population working in the agriculture sector is an inescapable attribute of the Vanuatu economy, which is also the case with developing countries such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan. M 
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