More than half of all climate-related disaster deaths in Asia occur in just four fragile states – ODI report

29 June 2018

More than half of all climate-related deaths caused by disasters in Asia are concentrated in just four fragile states, new research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has found.

A new report, published ahead of the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Mongolia (July 3-6), warns 55% of climate-related disaster between 1997 and 2016 took place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh, which all have high levels of fragility.

The report, ‘Accelerating Sendai Framework implementation in Asia: disaster risk reduction in contexts of violence, conflict and fragility’, argues that fragile countries need greater support to better prepare for the risk of disasters.

The report also highlights how the international community are continuing to spend more money on responding to emergencies, rather than on prevention.

Researchers found that in Asia’s five most fragile states – the four countries above plus the Democratic Republic of Korea - just 4% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for disaster risk was spent on prevention and preparedness, while 72% was spent on emergency response.

Report author Katie Peters, senior research fellow at ODI, said: ‘It is clear the current system of preparing for and responding to disasters in peaceful and stable environments is not appropriate or effective for countries experiencing violence, conflict and fragility.

‘The conditions of conflict requires governments to take a tailored approach in their efforts to reduce disaster risk, and the international community must do as much as it can to support them in this.

‘Most people think that disasters are natural, but the reason some people are more vulnerable to disasters than others is related to issues such as unequal distribution of land and resources, power and politics. This is why this is such a politically charged issue in the region, but one that can and must be addressed.’

Notes to editors

  • The report ‘Accelerating Sendai Framework implementation in Asia: Disaster risk reduction in contexts of violence, conflict and fragility’, was published ahead of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, July 2018
  • ODI’s calculation of the 55% climate-related disaster deaths is based on data from Germanwatch 'Global Climate Risk Index 2018’ Briefing Paper https://germanwatch.org/en/14638
  • According to The Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index (http://fundforpeace.org/fsi/) the five most fragile states in Asia are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Korea and Bangladesh
  • Analysing Overseas Development Assistance for the period 1997–2016 across four disaster risk management categories in the top five fragile states in Asia, reveals 72% was spent on emergency response, 20% on reconstruction and rehabilitation, 4% on flood prevention and control and 4% on disaster prevention and preparedness

For more information or to arrange an interview with Katie Peters please contact Brenda Yu on [email protected] or James Rush on [email protected] or +44 (0)7808 791265

ENDS