India looses $79.5 billion due to natural disasters in 20 years: UN report

India suffered economic losses of about $79.5 billion in the last two decades due to climate-related disasters, according to a UN report which highlights the impact of extreme weather events on the global economy.

The report titled ‘Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017’ was compiled by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The report states that the years between 1998 to 2017 have seen a dramatic rise of 151 per cent in direct economic losses from natural disasters.

The UN report added that economies of US, Japan, China, India and Puerto Rico have been the worst affected.

The greatest economic losses have been experienced by the US at $944.8 billion, followed by China at $492.2 billion, Japan at $376.3 billion, India at USD 79.5 billion and Puerto Rico at USD 71.7 billion.

India has reported absolute economic losses, which hurt the global economy by $3 trillion during 1998 to 2017.

UNISDR noted that “climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events” such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and storms, particularly in lower-middle countries like India.

“It is clear that the economic losses suffered by low and lower-middle income countries have crippling consequences for their future development and undermine our efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, the eradication of poverty,” the UNISDR reportedly said.