19 Oct 2016
Armen Grigoryan, Team Leader, Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDP Europe and Central Asia
Only 40 cents in every US$100 spent on aid goes to disaster risk reduction, yet disasters have cost developing countries a total of US$1 trillion over the last 20 years. UNDP Photo
In this blog series, UNDP experts share their perspectives in the lead-up to the next climate summit, COP22, taking place in November in Marrakech, Morocco.
Two years ago I remember watching catastrophic rains swallow entire swathes of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia. Most of northern Bosnia was flooded. Thousands of people lost their homes. And in Serbia, the damage was estimated at 1.5 billion euros.
The following year, it was Albania’s turn, then Tajikistan followed suit with the worst mud flows the country has ever seen. Finally, this summer, a thunderstorm dropped 93 litres of rain for every square metre of the capital, Skopje, within the space of a single night.
Whether we are talking about drought, failing crops, rising temperatures or the resurgence or appearance of new diseases, the list of possible climate catastrophes is long.
According to some analyses, the crisis in Syria, which has caused thousands of people to cross the Western Balkans in search of better lives in northern Europe, also has root causes associated with climate change.
It’s no secret that climate-related disasters are becoming more common and more devastating.
From a human development standpoint, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which I cover …