Minus a comprehensive disaster prevention program in place, at stake is huge economic losses of 14 countries in Asia-Pacific suffering from natural disasters, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday.
In a study, the Manila-based lender noted that of the 14 countries,including Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the Philippines are at the "highest risk" of posting human losses and economic damage from natural disasters.
The ADB said almost 90 percent of Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) is produced in areas at risk. In Bangladesh, 86.5 percent of its GDP is produced in areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters.
"People in Asia-Pacific are four times more likely to be affected by natural disaster than in Africa and 25 times more in Europe or North America," the ADB study said.
The Manila-based lender called for investments in projects and programs that put greater emphasis on improving disaster prevention.
The ADB said 1 U.S. dollar invested in reducing disaster risk saves at least 4 U.S. dollars in future relief and rehabilitation costs.