Half the countries in world lack adequate multi-hazard early warning systems: Report | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Half the countries in world lack adequate multi-hazard early warning systems: Report

By, New Delhi
Dec 04, 2023 07:02 AM IST

Half the countries lack adequate multi-hazard early warning systems, according to a report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the World Meteorological Organisation. While progress has been made in saving lives from extreme weather and climate impacts, there is still a long way to go. Africa has doubled its early warning systems coverage, but still falls below the global average. Less than half of Least Developed Countries and only 40% of Small Island Developing States have such systems. The report was released at a high-level event in Dubai attended by ministers and stakeholders.

Half the countries in the world lack adequate multi-hazard early warning systems, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organisation said on Sunday.

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The report, published on the sidelines of the UN Climate Meeting (COP28), said that while more lives are now being saved from extreme weather and dangerous impacts of climate crisis, there is still a long way to go.

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Africa has doubled the quality of early warning systems coverage, but still falls below the global average, the report found.

Less than half the Least Developed Countries and only 40% of Small Island Developing States have a multi-hazard early warning system. In Arab States, risk knowledge to underpin early warning systems was found to be particularly low.

The “2023 Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems” report was released by UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a high-level event attended by ministers and stakeholders in Dubai.

In India, disaster risk knowledge and management, warning, dissemination and communication are not adequate, but preparedness, response capabilities and detection, monitoring, forecasting capabilities are available, the report said.

The report cited the flooding in Bangladesh in 2020 and the havoc Cyclone Amphan wreaked in the country and in West Bengal in India in 2019, and said that some of the impacts were mitigated because of improved forecasting and through the activation of Early Action Protocols.

The report analyses data one year into the Early Warnings for All Initiative which aims to cover everyone on Earth by 2027.

The report also revealed that compared to last year, six more countries have reported having an early warning system, taking the total number of such countries to 101. The number has doubled since 2015.

“What we are delivering under the Early Warnings for All initiative can protect and save vulnerable communities from the worst impacts. This is an ambitious goal – but it is also achievable,” Guterres said.

He also called for a doubling of the speed and scale of support in countries in 2024. “For us to make it a reality we need all hands on deck rowing in the same direction – collaborating and cooperating in a way that we have not done before.”

At the launch of the report, Denmark announced 6 million Euros; Sweden 5 million Euros and France 8 million Euros for early warning systems.

The new funding will boost progress and build on the foundations already laid since the initiative was launched, including the joint commitment of all major Multilateral Development Banks and the Green Climate Fund in scaling up investment for early warning systems. Maldives, Laos and Ethiopia now have dedicated national action plans and coordination structures in place. Benin has strengthened communications to reach communities at greatest risk. Fiji’s flash flood warning has been strengthened to protect the entire population of nearly 1 million people, Guterres said.

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