It’s Not Fair: Disasters in Poor Countries – A look at why diasters hit the poor the hardest.
• About 95 percent of deaths caused by disasters occur inpoor countries. A disaster of similar natureand size causesmore deaths in poor countries than in rich ones.
• After a disaster, disease spreads quickly if there is noclean water and limited toilets available. Limited healthcare resources in poorcountries (the number of doctors,hospitals, etc.) can be inadequate for dealing with the healthemergencies that result from disasters.
• Children orphaned by disasters in poor countriesarevulnerable to exploitation of various sorts. There are fewer trained social service workers to deal with orphan’s and children’s trauma.
• In richer countries, the costs of rebuilding after adisaster arehigh, but there is usually money and technologyavailable for reconstruction. In poor countries, the costsmay be lower but securing funds are more difficult.
• Poor countries have limited or noresources to deal withthe post-tramatic stress that survivors may face fordecades to come, especially for parents who feel guiltythat their children perished.
• If countries have development debts to pay,little or nomoney will be available for post-disaster development.They are at the mercy of rich countries for debt cancellation and for adequate long-term aid.
• Those living in poverty have nosafety nets. Forexample, if they lose their crops because of drought, thosein poverty have little or no savings to buy food. Poorpeople in poor countries do not have insurance to rebuildtheir homes afterdisasters. Their governments do nothave the resources for disaster relief.
• If countries have development debts to pay, little or nomoney will be available for post-disaster development.They are atthe mercy of rich countries for debt cancella-tion and for adequate long-term aid.
• Look at the chart below about poverty in the countriesmost recently affected by natural disasters. How will...
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