Overall risks from climate-related impacts are evaluated based on the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability of communities (susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to adapt), and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes -including adaptation and mitigation actions- are drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014).

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Climate change is expected to exacerbate public health issues by increasing the incidence of certain water, food, and vector-borne diseases that are associated with climate (e.g. malaria).
  • Flooding from heavy rainfall and snowmelt, and rising temperatures, can cause an increase in the incidence of diseases, such as malaria, typhoid, and diarrhea.
  • Drought is a natural hazard that affects Afghanistan on a regular cycle. From 1998-2005/2006 the country went through the worst drought in known climatic history in terms of duration and strength.
  • Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Afghanistan and result in the largest economic damage. Changes in precipitation patterns as well as earlier spring snowmelt that are expected with climate change will increase risks for different types of floods (e.g. flash floods).
  • Between 2000 and 2003, over 4 million Afghans were affected by this drought. As most of the population (85%) relies on agriculture for their livelihood, droughts pose a serious threat to livelihoods, income, and poverty reduction efforts.
  • Epidemics are the third most frequent natural hazard within Afghanistan and account for 16.93% of all deaths by natural hazards from 1900-2010 (floods being the first and earthquakes being the second most frequent hazards) .
  • Adaptation policies aimed at reducing the socioeconomic risks associated with these natural hazards include increasing efficient irrigation (e.g. drip); land and water management at the watershed level (i.e. to stabilize slopes); implementing terracing, agro-forestry, and agro-silvo-pastoral systems that will reduce soil erosion and runoff from steep slopes; implementation of an early warning system; and hazard mapping.
  • Some priority drought adaptation actions, as identified by the country, include: improved water management and use efficiency, development of a disaster risk management strategy, and installation of an early warning system.
  • Reducing the populations’ vulnerability will be essential in the future. Improved water management and efficient use; integrated land and water management; development of a disaster management strategy; climate related research; and establishment of an early warning system will help Afghans adapt and increase their resilience to climate-related impacts in the future.