Half of World Not prepared for Disaster

2022 Saw Harsh Reality of Climate Change

Almost half of the countries globally are not protected by multi-hazard early warning systems and the numbers are even worse for developing countries on the front lines of climate change, said a latest report

Less than half of the Least Developed Countries and only one-third of Small Island Developing States have a multi-hazard early warning system, said the report Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems – Target G.

The report published as part of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction,analyses new data and shows that countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality that is eight times higher than countries with substantial to comprehensive coverage.


Noting that climate disasters are hurting countries and economies like never before, United Nations Secretary-GeneralAntonio Guterres said “the world is failing to invest in protecting the lives and livelihoods of those on the front line. Those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis are paying the highest price.”

The Secretary General called on all countries to invest in early warning systems, “Extreme weather events will happen. But they do not need to become deadly disasters.”


In the report, the authors said that least developed countries, small island developing states, and countries in Africa required the most investment to increase early warning coverage and adequately protect themselves against disasters.

“As this report was being prepared, Pakistan is dealing with its worst recorded climate disaster, with nearly 1,700 lives lost. Despite this carnage, the death toll would have been much higher if not for early warning systems.

“Worryingly, this report highlights significant gaps in protection as only half of the countries globally have Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems. This is a situation that needs to urgently change to save lives, livelihoods, and assets,” said Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR.

“The number of recorded disasters has increased by a factor of five, driven in part by human-induced climate change and more extreme weather. This trend is expected to continue. Early warning systems are a proven and effective climate adaptation measure, that save lives and money,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“But we can and must do better. We need to ensure that early warnings reach the most vulnerable and that they are translated into early action,” adding, “This is why WMO is spearheading a UN initiative on Early Warnings for All in the next five years.”

  • Expand and strengthen early warning and early action to cover all vulnerable groups.
  • Investment in all elements of early warning systems, but particularly in risk knowledge to better plan early warning systems and in building the capacity of at-risk communities for early action.
  • Investing in enhanced data and better access to technology for stronger hazard monitoring, faster communication of warnings, and better tracking of progress.


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