The Asia-Pacific region has had to cope with an unprecedented number of disasters. In all cases, - from Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh, Bhutan and India, Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan Province of China, back-to-back Typhoons Ketsana and Parma in the Philippines, Viet Nam, Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic and Cambodia, the Padang earthquake in Indonesia, the Samoa earthquake and subsequent Pacific tsunami disaster, the heat waves and rampant wildfires in Australia and the Russian Federation, the "dzud" in Mongolia, the earthquake in Qinghai Province in China, to the massive floods and landslides in Pakistan, China, India and Bhutan,
- it is the poor and vulnerable that bear the brunt and worst risks and
impacts of these disasters.
People of the Asia-Pacific region are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those living in Africa, and 25 times more likely than those living in Europe or North America - and while the region generated only one quarter of the world's GDP, it accounted for a staggering 85 per cent of deaths and 38 per cent of global economic losses during 1980-2009. It is clear that the Millennium Development Goals cannot be attained in the region if its hard fought development gains are not protected from the risks and impacts of disasters.
There has long been a gap in understanding of the scale of risks and losses in a disaster-prone region where disasters have such disproportionate impacts on human development. To address this glaring information and knowledge gap, ESCAP and UNISDR joined hands and produced for the first time, the Asia and Pacific Disaster Report 2010.