Very often people assume it is only in Africa that worst natural disasters occur after the recent floods in northern Nigeria due to the Benue river breaking its bank….
A new report on natural disasters over the past 20 years by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction suggests Africa is not the continent when it comes to natural disasters wreaking havoc on people and the environment.
the report measured the economic impact of these disasters in relation to Gross Domestic Products countries affected by natural disasters.
The worst affected countries include Puerto Rico which lost 12.2% of its GDP to disasters, followed by Haiti with 17.5%, Honduras 7%, and Cuba with 4.6%. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s annual losses represent 7.4% of its GDP.
The cost of natural disasters is impressive. That is still 20 years later: $2.9 trillion in recorded damages, four times the budget of the US army which is estimated at $610 billion.
On a human level, the bill is high. Over the past 20 years, 1.3 million people have lost their lives which is more than the population of Equatorial Guinea with 4.4 billion people injured as a result translating to 4 times the entire African population.