Main Navigation


World Disasters Report 2016


This year's World Disasters Report calls for a radical change in the way we manage natural disasters. By investing in resilience, we will save lives and money.

Resilience is about how people adapt, cope and recover in the face of adversity. It can be as personal as preparing a family emergency plan or as large as a citywide approach to building. It can include health, community education, psychological wellbeing and economic stability.

Disasters cost Australia $9 billion last year, and cost the world more than $200 billion annually. Yet just one out of every eight dollars spent on disasters goes towards reducing risks.

Australian Red Cross is calling for a four-fold increase in investment in disaster risk reduction and community resilience.

By investing in resilience, governments and communities could save lives, prevent human suffering and save billions in recovery costs and economic losses.

The World Disasters Report is an annual, independent study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It presents the latest thinking on disaster management, as well as global disaster statistics.

Download the World Disasters Report 2016 (PDF)

Disasters in 2015

  • Disasters killed 32,700 people, affected 108 million people and cost the world $92.5 billion.
  • The two earthquakes in Nepal in 2015 resulted in the highest death toll worldwide with more than 9,000 lives lost.
  • 2015 was the hottest year on record, with 32 major droughts across the world.
  • Disasters cost more than ever. Economic losses from extreme weather events are now in the range of AU$197-263 billion each year.
  • Despite this, last year's global death toll was less than half of the average over the last 10 years.
  • Asia-Pacific remains the world's most disaster-affected region, accounting for two out of five disasters and three out of five disaster-related deaths in 2015.
  • Forced migration is at the highest level since the Second World War. Last year, 40.8 million people were displaced by conflict and violence, the largest figure ever recorded by the United Nations.

More statistics in the World Disasters Report (PDF)

Learn more

Photo: IFRC/Carlo Heathcote

Time to rethink our approach to disasters
Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer calls for a four-fold increase in investment in disaster resilience

Make your family more resilient
Here's a free guide to help you prepare for any emergency in four simple steps.