World not prepared enough for disasters, say scientists
105,000 buildings collapsed or were severely damaged in Turkey after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Earthquakes, floods or storms: the world is not sufficiently prepared to face disasters, to which governments too often only react after the fact, deplores a report published on Tuesday which calls for a rethinking of risk management.
In 2015, the international community adopted the Sendai Goals to reduce casualties and damage by 2030 by investing in risk assessment and reduction , and disaster preparedness – be it earthquakes or warming-enhanced weather disasters.
However, it is very unlikely that the objectives will be met, says the report by the International Science Council, which includes dozens of scientific organizations.
Since 1990, more than 10,700 disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, storms, etc.) have affected more than 6 billion people worldwide, according to data from the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction. disaster risks. At the top of the list are floods and storms, compounded by climate change, which account for 42% of the total.
These cascading disasters undermine hard-won development gains in many parts of the world, the report points out.
But while the international community quickly mobilizes after disasters like the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, too little attention and investment is directed towards long-term planning and prevention, whether the strengthening of building codes or the establishment of warning systems, commented in a press release Peter Gluckman, president of the ISC.
The multiple challenges of the past three years have highlighted the fundamental need for better preparedness for future disasters, added Mami Mizutori, UN Special Representative for Risk Reduction. We need to strengthen infrastructure, communities and ecosystems now, not rebuild them later.
The report thus draws attention to a problem of resource allocation. resources. For example, only 5.2% of aid to developing countries to deal with disasters between 2011 and 2022 was dedicated to risk reduction, with the rest allocated to relief and post-disaster reconstruction.< /p>
The ISC also calls for the generalization of early warning systems, noting that warning of a storm 24 hours in advance could reduce the damage by 30%.
A report published at the end of January by the UN General Assembly also underlined that countries were not on track to achieve the Sendai targets.
As the number of people affected by disasters each year increases, so does direct damage, which averages 330 billion dollars per year over the period 2015-2021.