MANILA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Disasters triggered by natural hazards displaced an estimated 225.3 million people in Asia and the Pacific from 2010 to 2021, accounting for more than three-quarters of the global number, according to a joint report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released on Monday.
The report shows that Asia and the Pacific is the region most affected by disaster displacement globally. The Pacific has the "greatest" displacement risk relative to its population size. East Asia and Southeast Asia have the highest number of disaster displacements, nearly two-thirds of Asia and the Pacific's total, followed closely by South Asia.
Large-scale storms and floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions keep displacing millions of people every year across this vast region, home to billions.
"The scale of displacement is increasing," ADB's Chief of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Thematic Group Noelle O'Brien said.
"Disaster displacement is already eroding the development gains in Asia and the Pacific and threatens the region's long-term prosperity," O'Brien added. She also stressed the need to "strengthen policies and action on disaster risk management to ensure the region doesn't regress on its development goals."
The report discusses the role of climate change in disaster displacement, noting that the effects of climate change are becoming visible and are projected to increase displacement as the frequency and intensity of hazards change and impact food insecurity and water scarcity.
"Disasters are costing Asia and the Pacific hundreds of billions of dollars," said IDMC Director Alexandra Bilak. "However, the ultimate cost still lies in the millions of lives affected by unmitigated disaster displacement every year." ■