Thursday, 31 August 2023 23:33

El Niño leaves US$70 billion lost in Latin America and the Caribbean

Written by Leidyn Sorto

The  Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina y el Caribe (CAF) developed the event "El Niño: between droughts and floods", held in Argentina, where experts estimated that, in the last 10 years, losses due to droughts and floods in the region are approximately US$70 billion.

Experts from the Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) warn that El Niño, a natural phenomenon that originates in the Pacific Ocean and determines the climate worldwide, has begun. Thus, the forecasts they made, noting a few months ago that there was a 55% chance that it would appear in the second half of 2023, have been good. Or bad. Because with it increases the danger is a new global temperature change.

All this causes changes in sea level pressures, temperatures, precipitation and winds not only in the tropics, but in many other regions of the world.

Sigonella, Sicilia, Natute, Paisaje

"Ninety-nine percent of disasters in the region are climate disasters that are water-related. Floods, in fact, are the type of disasters that affect the most population, followed by droughts", said Nahuel Arenas, regional head of the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction.

"Our region of the Americas and the Caribbean, last year, we have observed, has been the region of the world that has suffered the most economic impact from these natural disasters", said Arenas.

Therefore, the experts recommend an increase in funding, since greater access to data is needed, that it should not only be the responsibility of one institution but a shared issue and, above all, public policies should be created with a scientific basis.

"Floods can destroy habitats that play an important role in food chains. Droughts, often cause the death of certain plants and animals, and of course increase the frequency of forest fires, which has a very strong impact on the dynamics of these ecosystems", says Martha Castillo, CAF's Director of Biodiversity and Climate Technical Assistance.

Inundación, Niños, Remo, Agua, Azul

"One of the great challenges facing this sector is to be able to anticipate and prevent consequences such as those that may occur with the El Niño phenomenon; it is to be able to create resilient infrastructures in advance that can adapt to these effects, but for this we must not only generate good projects but also generate financing", concludes CAF's Manager of Urban Development, Water and Creative Economies, Ángel Cárdenas Sosa.


Translated by: A.M