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 in
poor countries. A disaster of similar nature and size causes
more deaths in poor countries than in rich ones.

• After a disaster, disease spreads quickly if there is no
clean water and limited toilets available. Limited health
care resources in poor countries (the number of doctors,
hospitals, etc.) can be inadequate for dealing with the health
emergencies that result from disasters.

• Children orphaned by disasters in poor countries are
vulnerable to exploitation of various sorts, including sex
trafficking. There are fewer trained social service workers
to deal with orphan’s and children’s trauma.

• In richer countries, the costs of rebuilding after a
disaster are high, but there is usually money and technology
available for reconstruction. In poor countries, the costs
may be lower but securing funds are more difficult.

• Poor countries have limited or no resources to deal with
the post-tramatic stress that survivors may face for
decades to come, especially for parents who feel guilty
that their children perished.

• If countries have development debts to pay, little or no
money 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 no safety nets. For
example, if they lose their crops because of drought, those
in poverty have little or no savings to buy food. Poor
people in poor countries do not have insurance to rebuild
their homes after disasters. Their governments do not
have the resources for disaster relief.

• About 95 percent of deaths caused by disasters occur in
poor countries. A disaster of similar nature and size causes
more deaths in poor countries than in rich ones.

• After a disaster, disease spreads quickly if there is no
clean water and limited toilets available. Limited health
care resources in poor countries (the number of doctors,
hospitals, etc.) can be inadequate for dealing with the health
emergencies that result from disasters.

• Children orphaned by disasters in poor countries are
vulnerable to exploitation of various sorts, including sex
trafficking. There are fewer trained social service workers
to deal with orphan’s and children’s trauma.

• In richer countries, the costs of rebuilding after a
disaster are high, but there is usually money and technology
available for reconstruction. In poor countries, the costs
may be lower but securing funds are more difficult.

• Poor countries have limited or no resources to deal with
the post-tramatic stress that survivors may face for
decades to come, especially for parents who feel guilty
that their children perished.

• If countries have development debts to pay, little or no
money will be available for post-disaster development.
They are at the mercy of rich countries for debt cancella-
tion and for adequate long-term aid.

• Look at the chart below about poverty in the countries
most recently affected by natural disasters. How will such
poverty affect their ability to recover?

• People who live in poverty are very vulnerable to
natural disasters. For example, their houses are not made
of the best quality materials. They may live on steep
hillsides prone to landslides or riverbanks and sea shores
prone to flooding because they cannot afford safe land.

• Those living in poverty have no safety nets. For
example, if they lose their crops because of drought, those
in poverty have little or no savings to buy food. Poor
people in poor countries do not have insurance to rebuild
their homes after disasters. Their governments do not
have the resources for disaster relief.

Source:Education for Justice PDF (no longer available online)


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