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World won't end poverty without tackling disasters - report

Governments must step up efforts to protect the poor from natural disasters if they are to have any real chance of ending extreme poverty, a report said on Wednesday.

New research from the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) found that, in 2030, up to 325 million extremely poor people will be living in the 49 countries most exposed to climate extremes and natural hazards - including floods, droughts, storms and earthquakes. Most of them will be in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

A high-level panel appointed by the U.N. Secretary General proposed earlier this year that the next set of global development goals - which are due to run from 2016 to 2030 and are now under discussion - should aim to eradicate extreme poverty.

"Disasters pose a really critical threat to this goal of ending extreme poverty, and it would only take a handful of disasters in some of these countries of concern to blow that target out of the water, almost before it has even started," Tom Mitchell, head of climate change for ODI and one of the report's authors, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The study picks out 11 countries that, by 2030, will have high numbers of people in poverty, high exposure to multiple hazards and not enough capacity to minimise the impacts: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

It projects that a further 10 nations will have high proportions of people in poverty, alongside high hazard exposure and insufficient ability to manage disaster risks: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

For the complete article, please see Thomson Reuters.