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UN official warns of more disasters caused by climate change
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09:50, June 17, 2009

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Disasters caused by climate change will continue to increase if the world does not enhance efforts for risk reduction, the United Nations' humanitarian chief warned on Tuesday.

"We are going to see more disasters and more intense disasters as a result of climate change," UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told a press conference in Geneva.

"The trends in disasters particularly from climate change are of enormous concern ... we can only expect that this trend is going to continue," he said.

Holmes was speaking on the sidelines of UN-backed conference on reducing disaster risks.

According to the official, about 90 percent of the world's natural disasters are related to climate change. Although the world's risk reduction efforts have improved a lot since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, much more is needed, he said.

"The time is long overdue to move disaster risk reduction to the centre of the development agenda," he said earlier at the opening of the four-day conference, which is expected to be participated by more than 1,800 delegates from governments and international organizations.

According to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, one of the meeting's sponsors, some 236,000 people lost their lives last year in 300 disasters, while damages exceeded 180billion U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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