According to the FAO, extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity, particularly due to climate change.
"Pre-emptive action underpinned by effective weather data, early warning systems and disaster risk assessments can save millions of livelihoods in times of conflict and natural disaster," said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu during the launch of the 2020 State of Climate Services Report held by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Tuesday.
The WMO produced the report with inputs from the FAO and 15 other international agencies and financial institutions through the Global Framework for Climate Services.
The FAO Director-General stressed that many countries lack early warning systems and capacities.
He also noted the covid-19 pandemic had increased the vulnerabilities of the most-at-risk communities - such as farmers, pastoralists, fishers and foresters - to climate shocks and natural hazards.
The 2020 State of Climate Services Report found that climate change is having a devastating impact on the world's most vulnerable people.
In the past 50 years, it said more than 11,000 disasters have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, resulting in 2 million deaths and $3.6 trillion in economic losses.
In 2018, around 108 million people required help from the international humanitarian system as a result of storms, floods, droughts and wildfires.
By 2030, it is estimated that this number could increase by almost 50 per cent at a cost of around $20 billion a year
The situation is particularly acute in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Since 1970, SIDS have lost $153 billion due to weather, climate and water related hazards - a significant amount given that the average GDP for SIDS is $13.7 billion. Meanwhile, 1.4 million people (70 percent of the total deaths) in LDCs lost their lives due to weather, climate and water related hazards in that time period.