Nearly a quarter of damages wrought by natural disasters on the developing world are borne by the agricultural sector, finds a new Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) study released in Sendai, Japan on March 17, 2015 at the UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Media reports and a FAO news release said:
Twenty-two percent of all damages inflicted by natural hazards such as drought, floods storms or tsunamis are registered within the agriculture sector, shows the analysis of 78 post-disaster needs assessments in 48 developing countries spanning the 2003-2013 period.
These damages and losses are often incurred by poor rural and semi-rural communities without insurance and lacking the financial resources needed to regain lost livelihoods. Yet only 4.5 percent of post-disaster humanitarian aid in the 2003-2013 period targeted agriculture.
FAO’s 22 percent figure represents only damages reported via post-disaster risk assessments. So while indicative of scale, the actual impact is likely even higher.
To arrive at a closer estimate of the true financial cost of disasters to developing world agriculture FAO compared decreases in yields during and after disasters with yield trends in 67 countries affected by (at least one) medium- to larger-scale events between 2003 and 2013.