The average annual direct losses caused by natural disasters in the South Pacific region are estimated at US$284 million.
Citing statistics from the World Bank, International Labour Organisation (ILO) director for Pacific Island Countries (PICs), Donglin Li made the comment while opening the Working Out Disaster workshop in Nadi, reports Fiji Times.
Li said recent natural disasters in the Pacific and around the world were testament to the fact that climate change was a reality.
“In recent years, disasters are not only becoming frequent but more intense,” he said.
“The Category 5 cyclones in Vanuatu in 2015 and Fiji in 2016 and Hurricane Irma that hit Florida recently which formed in the Caribbean and affected its islands is a testimony to this fact,” said Li.