New research suggests that extreme weather events will keep people poor in many parts of the world. The authors argue that where disasters like drought are prevalent, they can be the most important cause of poverty.
Up to 325 million people will be living in countries highly exposed to natural hazards by 2030, the report suggests. If aid is not used to reduce these risks, the progress made in fighting poverty could disappear.
The report has been compiled by the Overseas Development Institute in London and was launched in October 2013.
‘The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development identified the significance for social work of disaster response and sustainable development’, commented Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General. ‘This report points to the need for social workers to engage with others to address the threats of climate change and weather related catastrophes, building on our research and practice wisdom which show that the best way to respond to social challenges is to involve the people directly affected. These subjects will be explored at the 2014 world conference on social work being held in Melbourne, Australia in July 2014.’
The report examines the relationship between disasters and poverty. It concludes that, by 2030, up to 325 million extremely poor people could be living in areas most exposed to multiple hazards if dedicated action is not taken. It maps where poor people are likely to live and it develops a range of scenarios aimed at identifying potential patterns of vulnerability to extreme weather and earthquakes. These scenarios are dynamic. They consider how threats may change, which countries face the greatest risk and what the role disaster risk management plays. If the international community is serious about the eradication of poverty by 2030, it needs to address the issues covered in this report and get far more serious about putting disaster risk management at the heart of poverty eradication efforts.
The ODI has compiled a list of the 11 countries most at risk of disaster-reduced poverty.
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- South Sudan
Read the BBC news commentary on the report by Matt McGrath, BBC News Environment Correspondent here.
Download the report and watch videos of the launch event presentations at the ODI website.