India lost 87 billion USD due to natural disasters last year: WMO

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According to the report released by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), India has lost 87 billion U.S. dollars last year due to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.

The disasters that hit India resulted in an average annual loss (AAL) of several hundred billion dollars, as estimated by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which the WMO referred to in its report.

The report said intense cyclones, monsoon rains and floods hit highly exposed and densely populated areas in South Asia and East Asia, and displaced millions of people in China, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal and Vietnam in 2020.

“Cyclone Amphan, one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, hit the Sundarbans region between India and Bangladesh in May 2020, displacing 2.4 million people in India and 2.5 million people in Bangladesh,” the report said

According to the report, progress on food security and nutrition has also slowed down. The report said last year, 48.8 million people in Southeast Asia, 305.7 million in South Asia and 42.3 million in West Asia are estimated to have been undernourished.

“The true impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition are yet to be established. But compared with 2019, the number of undernourished people in 2020 increased by 6 percent in South-East Asia and West Asia, and by 20 percent in South Asia. Climate-related disasters compounded the problem,” the report said.

Last year was the warmest year on record in Asia with a mean temperature of 1.39 degrees centigrade above the 1981-2010 average, the report noted. Enditem

The report was released just days before a UN-led summit on climate change, COP26, that is scheduled to start in Glasgow, Scotland.

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