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UN/ISDR, WMO, UNDP Release Preliminary Disaster Figures for 2009

margareta-wahlstrom14 December 2009: In a joint press conference held on 14 December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have reported that the preliminary 2009 disaster figures show thatover three quarters of the people killed - and 95 % of the total affected by natural hazards - since the beginning of the year were due to extreme weather events.

 Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, indicated that 2009 statistics show lower figures compared to previous years, but warned that "extreme weather disasters remain top of the list and will continue to affect more people in the future." Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General, underlined the importance of early warning systems and seasonal climate forecasts to manage risks and increase the resilience of vulnerable populations.[Joint UNDP-UNISDR-WMO Press Release]