Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters and Conflict
Since the start of the new millennium, the world has witnessed over 35 major conflicts and some 2,500 disasters. Over two billion people have been affected, and millions have lost their lives. These tragic events can destroy infrastructure, cause population displacement, compound poverty, limit food and water availability, exert pressures on natural resources and lead to environmental degradation. The consequences of climate change for water availability, food security, prevalence of disease, coastal boundaries, and population distribution may further aggravate existing tensions and generate new conflicts.
Nearly half of the world’s natural disasters occur in the Asia and the Pacific region. In 2008 alone, the region accounted for more than half of the 220 major disasters that took place, which affected more than 55 million people and resulted in 7,000 deaths and US$15 billion in damages.
In the Asia and the Pacific region, the UNEP works with its Disasters and Conflict Branch in Geneva to assist in the recovery phase, disaster risk reduction and to contribute to the development and long-term rehabilitation of affected countries.