Red Cross links 410,000 deaths to extreme weather

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Tuesday in Geneva that floods, storms and heatwaves, had led to more than 410,000 deaths since 2010.

According to the Annual World Disasters Report of the Red Cross, 4 out of 5 natural catastrophes in the last decade have been caused by extreme weather and climate-related events.

The humanitarian relief group estimated that the lives of 1.7 billion people were disrupted as they lost family members, homes, livestock, farmland and livelihoods.

In a statement by IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain said that since the 1990s, the number of climate and weather-related disasters has increased by nearly 35 per cent every decade.

The statement reads: “Our first responsibility is to protect communities that are most exposed and vulnerable to climate risks.

“However, our research demonstrates that the world is collectively failing to do this”.

The organisation however, criticised the fact that countries that experienced the most natural disasters got an insufficient share of the funds being spent on adapting to climate change.

According to Chapagain, Somalia, which faces droughts, floods, cyclones and climate-related diseases, tops the Red Cross list of the countries that are most threatened by climate change.

However, the African nation ranks only 71st in terms of per person disbursements on adaptation measures.

“Investing in resilience in the most vulnerable places is more cost-effective than to accept continued increases in the cost of humanitarian response,” said Chapagain.

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