International Day for Disaster Relief 2016

The International Day for Disaster Relief is observed annually every 13th of October. This year, the Day will focus on disaster mortality reduction, the first target in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. (Read more about the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction here.)

Disasters are on the rise due to climate change. The number of climate related disasters are 44% greater

Tree surrounded by flood water. Shiakarpur, Sindh Province. Photo: Jennifer Nolan/Pakistan/ 2011

Tree surrounded by flood water. Shiakarpur, Sindh Province. Photo: Jennifer Nolan/Pakistan/ 2011

than averages recorded in 1994-2000. Now, more than before, we need to be prepared for disaster.

This year’s focus on mortality reduction leads us to be more conscious of the severity of disasters, shown by the magnitude of human life lost. The UN reported last year that more than 600,000 lives have been lost in the past two decades to natural disasters. These natural disasters have also left almost 4.1 billion people homeless or injured since 1995.

  • Floods have accounted for 47% of natural disaster and have killed 157,000 people worldwide between 1995 and 2015.
  • Storms are the second most frequent but most deadly type of natural disaster. It accounted for 40% of disasters between 1995 and 2015, and killed 242,000 people.
  • Heat waves were the cause of 148,000 deaths
  • There were 136 cases of drought from 1995-2015.
  • Other natural disasters include earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires
Shikarpur boat transporting people to get their belongings. Shiakarpur, Sindh Province. Photo: Jennifer Nolan/Pakistan/ 2011

Shikarpur boat transporting people to get their belongings. Shiakarpur, Sindh Province. Photo: Jennifer Nolan/Pakistan/ 2011

Concern Worldwide recognizes the importance of disaster preparedness. They have implemented improved disaster response measures in multiple countries, including Chad, the Philippines, Somalia and Pakistan. Read more about Concern’s work in disaster risk management in Pakistan here.

On this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, ask yourself how you can be more prepared. Consider how you can help your community, or even the global community, in the face of disaster.

 

 

Alessandra Rizzo is a student volunteer with Concern Worldwide U.S.