The impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to a global $ 520 billion loss in annual consumption, and forces some 26 million people into poverty each year, a new report from the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) reveals. The report, "Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters", warns that the combined human and economic impacts of extreme weather on poverty are far more devastating than previously understood. The report’s findings underscore the urgency for climate-smart policies that better protect the most vulnerable.
"Severe climate shocks threaten to roll back decades of progress against poverty," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "Storms, floods, and droughts have dire human and economic consequences, with poor people often paying the heaviest price. Building resilience to disasters not only makes economic sense, it is a moral imperative."
It said in all of the 117 countries studied, the effect on well-being, measured in terms of lost consumption, was found to be larger than asset losses.
"Poor people are typically more exposed to natural hazards, losing more as a share of their wealth and are often unable to draw on support from family, friends, financial systems, or governments," the report said.