Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Development In Fighting Against Disasters

The World Risk Report 2011 created by the U.N. University Institute for Environment and Human Security along with five German NGOs has launched a risk index that could help donors and aid agencies to have a better idea about the vulnerability of different countries to natural calamities. This index could help donors to effectively respond to disasters and come up with resilience-building initiatives to disaster-prone countries.

According to Jörn Birkmann, the scientific head of the team in charge of developing the index, “The index gives you all that information at a glance — showing the strength of a particular area’s capacity to adapt or cope in percentages, which is useful to communicate the strengths and weakness of a particular area when you are seeking funding from donors.”

The index focuses on a country’s economic, political and ecological factors in determining its response-capacity, and examines four key components: exposure to hazards, susceptibility to damage caused by potential disasters, capacity to cope, and existing adaptation strategies. The index identifies that the Vanuatu, Tonga, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Guatemala are the top five counties that are most at risk of disasters.

-Nisha Noor