The frequency of disasters has tripled in half a century

Mar 22, 2021

The agricultural sector bears most of the economic losses and impact of disasters, but the frequency, intensity and complexity of disasters have increased, with annual disasters now more than three times as frequent as they were in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a report released recently by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The agri-food system is facing an unprecedented array of new threats, including extreme fires, extreme weather, unusually large desert locust swarms, and emerging threats such as COVEX. According to the report, such disaster events not only take lives, but also destroy agricultural livelihoods, with interlocking negative economic consequences at the family, community, national and regional levels that can last for generations.

Within the agriculture, industry, business and tourism sectors, the agricultural sector itself bears 63 per cent of the impact of disasters, with least developed and low – and middle-income countries bearing the brunt, according to the report.

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