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  • 2020: The Non-COVID year in disasters
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2020: The Non-COVID year in disasters

Source(s):  Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

The statistics used in this report are drawn from the latest updates in the emergency events database, EM-DAT, maintained by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED, UClouvain). At the outset, it is acknowledged that these statistics pale in comparison with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which by the year’s end had claimed almost two million lives, resulted in more than 90 million confirmed cases, trillions of dollars in economic losses, and “extreme poverty back up to levels not seen in a generation” as the UN Secretary-General has said.

In comparison to the previous two decades (2000-2019), 2020 was higher than the annual average in terms of the number of recorded events and the annual average of economic losses, which is US$ 151.6 billion. There were considerably fewer deaths compared to the annual average of 61,709 and fewer people directly affected compared to the annual average of 201.3 million people. This decrease in impacts is due to the absence of mass casualty events, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (227,000 deaths) and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake (222,500 deaths) or high impact events, such as the 2015/2016 drought in India (330 million people affected). However, in 2020 there were 26% more storms than the annual average of 102 events, 23% more floods than the annual average of 163 events, and 18% more flood deaths than the annual average of 5,233 deaths. 



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  • 2020: The Non-COVID year in disasters
  • Publication date 2021
  • Number of pages 8 p.

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