16 Oct 2013:
Climate-Driven Disasters To Keep
Impoverished Populations Poor, Study Says
Floods in Mozambique
Extreme weather events driven by climate change will exacerbate poverty in regions where people are already among the world's poorest, according to a study
by the U.K.'s Overseas Development Institute. Where disasters such as drought are common, those events are the leading cause of poverty, the authors say, rather than poor health or societal factors. Across the globe, up to 325 million people will be living in countries that face natural hazard risks by 2030, the report says; in sub-Saharan Africa alone, 118 million people in poverty will face extreme events. To brace against the effects of disasters
, aid money should be spent on reducing those risks, rather than only on humanitarian relief after an extreme event, the authors argue. Currently, money tends to flow to a region after a disaster instead of before, when it could be used for prevention. "If the international community are serious about ending extreme poverty, they need to get serious about reducing disaster risk for the poorest people," Tom Mitchell, the institute's head of climate change, told the BBC.