Knowledge Note

South Asia is highly prone to weather and water related disasters such as flooding, drought, thunderstorms and cyclones. In the past two decades, over 50% of South Asians, that is, more than 750 million people have been affected by at least one natural disaster. The social and economic costs of such hazards have been staggering with almost 230,000 people dead and USD 45 billion in damages between 1970 and 2008.The performance of the region’s key economic sectors such as agriculture, aviation, water, urban infrastructure, fisheries, hydropower, and tourism depends upon weather information based services. However, users and communities have limited access to weather information products tailored to these sectors. While strengthening hydro-meteorological services and associated institutions at the country level is an essential first step, regional collaboration is crucial.