Taking care of humankind at +2°C

Taking care of humankind at +2°C

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Reducing the health risks of disasters

The impacts of climate change and climate induced disasters (e.g., flood and rainfall-triggered landslide, drought, severe storms) on health are getting more and more serious globally, increasing mortality and morbidity rates.

According to the last UNISDR and CRED report:
Natural disasters affected 61.7 million people and caused 10,733 deaths worldwide in 2018.

Floods continued to affect the largest number of people, 35.4 million people, including 23 million people in Kerala, India. They caused 2,859 deaths including India (504), Japan (220), Nigeria (199), and Korea DPR (151).

9.3 million people were affected by drought worldwide, including Kenya (3 million), Afghanistan (2.2 million), and Central America (2.5 million), including migration hotspots Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Direct impacts of climate change and climate induced disasters on health include death, injury, disease, mental health impacts, and other health issues such as toxic exposure that can be directly linked to a disaster event.

Indirect health impacts of disasters can result from unmet primary healthcare needs after a disaster due to the change in healthcare demands, and reduced capacity of the health system to meet these needs and baseline healthcare needs.

Climate induced disasters and climate change also affect public and primary health services. Thefunctionality of health services was disrupted due to damages of infrastructure and non-structural factors, including equipment and medical supplies, and factors relating to the functioning of vital aspects of the health system, such as losses of medical records, losses or death of general and specialised health personnel, etc.

In this context, it is critical to enhance the involvement of health in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


Virginia Murray

Head of Global Disaster Risk Reduction, Public Health England


Founder and Director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute

Fernando Briones

University of Colorado-Boulder , Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Coordination of Civil Protection of Mexico

Omar Abou-Samra

Director of Preparedness Programs , GDPC

Thierry Fauveaux

Regional Director for the Antilles, French Red Cross

JC Gaillard

Associate Professor, University of Auckland

Nancy Claxton

Senior officer of health promotion in the community and emergency health, IFRC

of people affected by natural disasters in 2018

deaths worldwide in 2018 caused by natural disasters

of people facing floods in 2018


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