Disasters cause $3.8 trillion in crop losses over 30 years: FAO
by Juliette MICHEL
Natural and man-made disasters have caused $3.8 trillion in crop and livestock losses over 30 years, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization said on Friday.
Floods, droughts, insect infestations, storms, disease and war have caused about $123 billion per year in lost food production between 1991 and 2021, the equivalent of five percent of total production or enough to feed up to half a billion people per year, the FAO said in a report.
This is the first time the UN body has tried to compile such an estimate, with the aim of putting into context the scale of the cost of disasters on both a global and personal scale.
"The international community is taking stock of the fact that disasters are... increasing tremendously... quadrupling since the 1970s" and are having an increasing impact on food production, the deputy head of FAO's statistics department, Piero Conforti, told AFP.
The FAO report, entitled "The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security", found that disasters are increasing in severity and frequency, from 100 per year in the 1970s to around 400 events per year in the past 20 years.