In the news: Recently, Global Assessment Report (GAR) was released by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Key Findings of the report: 

  • Major threats to Asia Pacific: It has warned of new and much larger threats due to extreme climate changes to economies, in particular the Asia Pacific which accounts for 40% of the global economic losses, with the greatest impact in the economies of Japan, China, Korea and India.
  • Risks to human lives: The report has outlined major risks to human life from air pollution and biological hazards, in addition to other natural disasters like floods, landslides and earthquakes. Economic losses to the extent of 4% of GDP annually are projected if countries don’t invest in DRR (disaster risk reduction).
  • Regional Variation: The report says the impact in terms of losses and deaths is probably much higher than the data suggests, as disasters in several of these countries remain underreported. 
  • Spiral Effect: There is a high potential for one type of disaster to produce or exacerbate another. Such as heavy rains trigger mudslides after wildfires.
  • Natural hazards have triggered approximately 265 million new displacements, more than three times as many forced movements as those caused by conflict and violence. 

About Global Assessment report:

  • The UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) is the flagship report of the United Nations on worldwide efforts to reduce disaster risk.
  • The GAR is published biennially by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and is the product of the contributions of nations, public and private disaster risk-related science and research, amongst others. 
  • The GAR Atlas presents the risk associated with a number of hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, riverine flooding, cyclonic winds and storm surge) with a global level of observation and a national level of resolution.

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR): 

  • It was established in 1999, as part of the United Nations Secretariat. 
  • The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the United Nations system’s focal point for disaster risk reduction and the custodian of the Sendai Framework, supporting countries and societies in its implementation, monitoring and review of progress.
  • It ensures synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields.