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South Asia, home to two billion people, has experienced devastating extreme weather events in the past decade – even more so than it has historically. Heatwaves, floods, and cyclones across Bangladesh, India, Neha and Pakistan have resulted in mass and billions of dollars of damage. As the frequency and intensity of these events rises as the climate changes, most households who will be most affected are already highly vulnerable to shocks even now. They work in the informal labor market, face frequent food insecurity, and live in unstable or insecure housing.

They are prone to epidemic infectious diseases and are dependent on their natural environment for their survival. Observations from complex humanitarian emergencies around the world show that millions may be trapped and unable to move, or have nowhere to go when, on longer time scales, rising sea levels, salt intrusion in coastal lands, heat and drought will affect food production and habitat, and disrupt health and livelihoods.

In this session, jointly hosted by CrisisReady and the Harvard’s Mittal Institute, we invite experts from local communities, academia, governmental and UN agencies to examine the readiness* of key stakeholders to use novel data streams to prepare for and respond to these disasters.