World Disasters Report 2020: Come Heat or High Water - Tackling the Humanitarian Impacts of the Climate Crisis Together

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Type of Publication: 
Language of Publication: 
Year of Publication: 


Access executive summary EN, FR, ES, AR

Access full report

Humanitarian, development as well as climate and environmental actors need to become much better prepared to take actions triggered by a forecast (ranging from providing cash, sanitation and hygiene kits or shelter tool kits to safeguarding livelihood measures such as evacuations of livestock, among others) including through forecast-based financing. The World Disasters Report 2020 argues that it is time to take this approach to scale, through both its incorporation in national disaster risk management laws, policies and plans, and in the procedures and practices of humanitarian donors and organizations.  

Snapshot of climate- and weather-related disasters and their impacts:

  • In the past ten years, 83% of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by extreme weather- and climate-related events, such as floods, storms and heatwaves.
  • The number of climate - and weather-related disasters has been increasing since the 1960s, and has risen almost 35% since the 1990s.
  • The proportion of all disasters attributable to climate and extreme weather events has also increased significantly during this time, from 76% of all disasters during the 2000s to 83% in the 2010s.
  • These extreme weather- and climate-related disasters have killed more than 410,000 people in the past ten years, the vast majority in low and lower middle-income countries. Heatwaves, then storms, have been the biggest killers.
  • A further 1.7 billion people around the world have been affected by climateand weather-related disasters during the past decade