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The latest Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) infographics explores the causes and impact of disasters in Southeast Asia. There were 574 disasters reported around the globe and around 108 million people have been affected. The vast majority (92%) of natural disasters are due to global warming. Out of 65.3 million displaced people around the world over 14% are being hosted in Asia and the Pacific.
One of the prevailing effects of climate change is water deprivation and drought, caused by the warming of the earth. Millions of people around the world are exposed to climate-related natural disasters, droughts and associated food insecurities, subsisting on degraded land. In Vietnam over two million people, including 520,000 children and one million women, seek humanitarian assistance due to El-Nino induced drought (UNICEF, 2016). Three quarters of those in need are women and children. The Emergency Response Plan has prioritised health, WASH, food and nutrition for slightly more than one half of the total funding required.
In the Philippines El-Nino caused $19.2 million in agricultural damage. In Cambodia, 18 out of 25 provinces face food insecurity which affects 2.5 million people.
Dr Ancha Srinivasan from Asian Development Bank says that Southeast Asia is a highly exposed area and particularly vulnerable to severe climate change.
Myanmar ranks 2nd on the Global Climate Risk Index. An estimated $190 million funding is required to support over 525,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.
Out of the 218,000 displaced in Myanmar, 70% are women and children. The two key reasons for displacement are internal conflict between states and, floods and landslides, both of which have a devastating impact on people’s lives. The displaced are in urgent need of water, food, medical attention and shelter. Moreover, 90% do not have access to basic health services and three quarters are food insecure.
Despite the annual flooding that regularly affects the livelihoods of vulnerable people in the country, the World Bank projected annual GDP growth in Myanmar to average at 8% between 2016 and 2020. The frequent exposure of an already vulnerable population to natural disasters – floods, landslides, droughts and earthquakes – underlines the critical importance of building longer-term resilience.
According to a UN OCHA report “Myanmar is one of the countries at highest risk of natural disasters in South-East Asia and there is an urgent need to strengthen disaster risk reduction activities and to enhance national capacity to prepare for and respond to future emergencies.”
Strengthening capacities of local and national organisations and building disaster resilience into policies and programmes at all levels can reduce the risk and mitigate the effects of disasters, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Find out more about innovations, partnerships and policy updates for disaster and flood risk reduction and response at the upcoming Aid & Development Asia Summit (14-15 June, MICC2, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar). The agenda will also include a panel discussion on building a culture of resilience and strengthening disaster preparedness and roundtables on emergency communication, early warning systems, GIS, data collection and mapping. View detailed agenda
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