Asia has the largest number of people affected by natural disasters, but African countries are the most vulnerable to them, largely because of political instability, corruption, poverty and inequality, a new global assessment shows.
- Over 1.4 billion people in South Asia such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan face at least one major threat from nature. In the case of Bangladesh, 100% of its population is exposed, compared to 82% for India and 70% in Pakistan.
- India has a billion people at risk, with China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Pakistan also ranked among the 10 countries with the most people exposed to natural hazards.
- More than 85 percent of people are exposed to at least one kind of natural hazard, In the case of Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. But all three countries are classed as having low vulnerability, and together recorded less than 32,000 deaths from natural disasters since 1990.
Africa Most vulnerable:
- But the list of countries most vulnerable to disasters in terms of their ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from them is topped by African nations, particularly conflict-plagued South Sudan, Burundi and Eritrea.
- Much vulnerability in Africa and elsewhere is the result of poor governance including corruption and an inability to implement policies to reduce disaster risk.
- Haiti, on the other hand, is not as exposed to potential disasters but is considered highly vulnerable, having suffered over 230,000 deaths since 1990, many in a major 2010 earthquake.
- Nine countries ranked as most vulnerable to natural hazards out of 10 in the index are in sub-Saharan Africa, and 23 of 25 are on the continent.
- South Sudan snowed under by drought and war heads the list of the countries most defenceless against disaster, followed by Burundi, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Chad, Niger, Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.