Moscow [Russia], November 17 (ANI/Sputnik): Over 100 natural disasters affecting more than 50 million people occurred in the first half a year alone since the coronavirus pandemic was officially announced in March, stated the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in its annual World Disasters report on Tuesday.
"Many people are being directly affected by the pandemic and climate-driven disasters all at once, and the world's poorest and most at risk people are being hit first and hardest. Over 100 disasters took place between March 2020 (when the pandemic was announced) and six months later when this report was finalized, and over 50 million people were affected," the IFRC said.
This includes some 250,000 people who were affected by as many as 10 different disasters during this period, according to the World Disasters 2020 report.
The IFRC observed that the frequency of disasters had increased over the past 10 years, and the share of climate- and weather-related disasters among them had increased as well.
"In the past ten years, 83 per cent of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by extreme weather- and climate-related events, such as floods, storms and heatwaves," it was stated in the report.
The IFRC pointed to the fact that climate change did not stop during the pandemic and that the effect of both combined had put the heaviest burden on the poorest countries and most vulnerable societies. The organization has called for redistributing the global COVID-19 recovery funds in a manner considering the needs of such vulnerable communities.
"Climate adaptation work can't take a back seat while the world is preoccupied with the pandemic: the two crises have to be tackled together," IFRC's Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said, as quoted in a press release on the IFRC website.
Chapagain urged for what is described as "smart funding" in the press release, with a focus on early warning and preemptive action to anticipatory action to reduce risks and prevent disasters before they happen. (ANI/Sputnik)