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Inter-Agency Standing Committee Calls For Efforts to Reduce Climate-Induced Disaster Risks

3 December 2008: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee, comprising nearly 20 UN agencies and aid organizations, appealed for increased global action to boost preparedness for effective response to disasters brought on by climate change.

The call was issued in light of the increase of climate-induced

disasters, which in 2007 included devastating floods in sub-Saharan

Africa and China, heat waves in South-Eastern Europe, droughts in

Eastern and Southern Africa and massive Caribbean hurricanes. According

to John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs,

these events serve as a “curtain raiser on the future.” He stressed

that millions of people are already suffering from the impact of

climate-related disasters, and that nine out of ten disasters recorded

are climate-related.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee stressed

that better disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response will

curtail much of the loss and suffering resulting from such hazards. For

example, China averted losses of some $12 billion as a result of the

just over $3 billion it spent on flood control between 1960 and 2000. [UN Press Release] [The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Website]