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World Vision Says Asian Disasters Should Be 'Wake-Up Call' For Global Leaders
Date:10/2/2009

BANGKOK, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- World Vision, one of the world's leading emergency response agencies, says the recent series of disasters throughout Asia should be a wake-up call to the global community to fund efforts that reduce risk and save lives. The aid agency, an expert in disaster risk reduction (DRR), works with communities all over the world to help reduce their vulnerabilities to disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, and says that DRR funding must be a priority for global governments and donors.

"Disasters are becoming increasingly costly in terms of lives and destruction," said Melisa Bodenhamer, World Vision's expert in DRR. "There must be a paradigm shift in the way that organizations think about development work, but the goal is to be systematic about building up the resiliency of communities before a disaster hits. DRR activities can help reduce the toll on human lives and government budgets. In fact, research has shown that every $1 spent on disaster risk reduction activities saves nearly $7 in emergency response funds."

For DRR to have a significant impact on lives and livelihoods, action needs to be taken at a number of levels. Ongoing success in DRR will involve a mix of structural elements, including more and better designed infrastructure and housing, and non-structural elements such as education and early warning systems.

World Vision advocates for a minimum of 10 percent of development funding to be set aside for risk reduction activities. Natural disasters have always occurred, and the poor suffer most from them. But DRR activities can -- and do -- help communities identify and reduce the vulnerabilities families faced by natural disasters. The risk of disaster impact can be reduced by helping communities develop early warning systems, establish risk mapping techniques and hold trainings to teach communities how to reduce their vulnerabilities and protect themselves in the event
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SOURCE World Vision
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