Five of the top 10 countries affected most by climate change-induced disasters during 1994-2013 are located in the Asia-Pacific region, says the Global Climate Risk Index 2015. But increased frequency in climate change-induced hydrological and geological disasters is most likely to scuttle Asia-Pacific economic growth trajectory as long as disaster preparedness is not strengthened in the region and public infrastructure, agriculture, water, health sectors and human settlements are not made climate-resilient.

According to an Asian Development Bank report titled ‘The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific 2013’, storms and floods are becoming endemic to the region, and their increasing frequency and severity can reduce economic growth and development.

Recent earthquake in Nepal, ongoing erratic devastating winter rains/hailstorm in Pakistan’s north and India, Typhoon Noul in Philippines provide a fresh reminder of how natural disasters can reverse economic and social gains, with massive loss of life and livelihoods,

ADEEL UR REHMAN,

Islamabad, April 29.