Between 1970 and 2021, weather, climate, and water extremes caused over 2 million deaths and US$ 4.3 trillion in economic losses. Developing countries persistently bear the biggest share of human losses, accounting for over 90% of globally reported deaths. These countries are also disproportionately affected if economic losses are measured in relation to the size of their economies. Adverse impacts from weather, climate, and water extremes require scaling up actions to reduce exposure and vulnerability in regions, countries, and communities at the highest and increasing risk.
Despite a foundational role for resilient development, challenges faced by NMHSs, especially in developing countries, often include limited public financing, deteriorating infrastructure, capacity constraints, and the absence of effective operating models. Existing funding is not sufficient to allow NMHSs, particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to invest in upgrading observational infrastructure, operational systems, information technology, and communications services.
The call for better weather, climate, and water services, including early warning systems, and the need for financial resources to close critical gaps in developing countries is recognized in several international frameworks. In the face of growing exposure to weather, climate, and water extremes, more investments in under funded hydrometeorological infrastructure and services are urgently needed. National governments, international development, and financial institutions need to step up and support NMHSs by substantially increasing investment levels over the next decades.