Monday, February 18, 2013

What silent disasters are saying - Red Cross

From a blog post at AlertNet by Kristalina Georgieva and Bekele Geleta: ... Many people may not know that across the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy claimed the lives of 135 people and caused equal, and in some cases, more damage than in the USA. People are even less likely to know about the tropical cyclones that also struck Asia, or may have scarcely caught a whisper of the floods in Argentina, Somalia or Indonesia during the same period.

October 2012 reflects a reality that our global village is facing. Over 90 percent of disasters around the world go unnoticed - in silence. They’re too small, inconvenient or overshadowed by other events. Without the attention of the public and the media, they often pass under the donor community's radar.

But these disasters are not silent for the millions of people they affect. For example, around two million people - 12 percent of the population - are facing a food crisis in Malawi right now. And in Lesotho, 725,000 people - representing one-third of the country - are dealing with the same disaster.

The figures are truly alarming. The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters reported 221 disasters in 1992 affecting 78 million people and causing economic damage estimated at 70 billion US dollars. Almost 20 years later, in 2011, these figures soared to 336 natural disasters worldwide, 209 million victims and a bill for nearly 366 billion US dollars. How many years does that add up to in terms of lost development for countries and their citizens?

In a nutshell, disasters around the world are growing in frequency, severity and cost each decade with no end in sight. With the effects of climate change, urbanization and environmental degradation, by 2015 an estimated 375 million people - a 79 percent increase from 2011 - will suffer the ravages of devastating weather events....

A flood in Gonaives, Haiti, after Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, USAID photograph

No comments: