Insufficient risk perception reverses global progress, report finds

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The United Nations reports that between 350 and 500 large and medium-sized disaster events have occurred each year over the past 20 years. By 2030, the number of disaster events is expected to reach 560 per year, or 1.5 per day. The report blames these disasters on a lack of risk perception due to “blind optimism, underestimation and hubris,” and policy, financial and development decisions based on this exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, leaving humankind in a precarious situation. Disasters disproportionately affect developing countries, where disasters cost an average of 1 percent of GDP per year, compared with 0.1-0.3 percent in developed countries. The Asia-Pacific region bears the highest cost, with an average annual loss of 1.6% of GDP due to disasters, and in developing countries, the poorest are also the hardest hit.

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