Hurricanes, floods, droughts, extreme temperatures. A cocktail stopping net any development initiative of the poorest countries of the planet. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2018, published by the NGO Germanwatch at the COP23 in Bonn this month, Haiti is the first victim of climate, with dramatic human and financial losses in 2016. This country is followed by Zimbabwe, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India.
In 2016, Haiti lost 613 lives and $USD 3.33 billion during these devastating weather events. Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole have devastated the country, leaving 1.4 million people homeless. Matthew has been the worst hurricane since 1963 and the worst disaster since the 2010 earthquake.
Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst droughts in early 2016, caused by the El Niño phenomenon. The extreme heat has caused a lot of agricultural losses. Then tropical storm Dineo, in November, swept the country and caused catastrophic floods that lasted from November to January 2017. Many infrastructure, bridges and dams, were destroyed in a dozen regions. The loss of life was 246 deaths, and these disasters cost $USD 1.2 billion.
Fiji has had a dramatic 2016, with two major hurricanes, including the highest category 5 hurricane Winston. This cyclone is the most devastating recorded in the archipelago. In total, there were 47 deaths and $USD 1.08 billion in damage, and tens of thousands of people homeless.
Two of these three countries are islands, islands that are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. For twenty years, Haiti is the second most affected by climate disasters, behind Honduras and before Burma. Nine out of ten countries are in the process of development.
- Global Climate Risks Index Report 2018, Germanwatch (pdf, english)