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More with Less:Disasters in an Era of Diminishing Resources

Disasters in an Era of Diminishing Resources

Kevin M. Cahill

Publication Year: 2012

Natural and human-made disasters are increasing around the world. Hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and resultant famine, floods, and armed conflicts are constant reminders of the frailty of our human race. Global warming may cause whole island states to be submerged as the oceans rise. In the past these acute and recurring crises have been met by the international community responding to UN and media appeals. The economic collapse of nations is now a reality; some of those most affected had been traditional, generous donors to disaster relief operations. It is unlikely-probably impossible-that they will be able to continue to contribute overseas when their own domestic needs are unmet.A recent New York Times front page report suggested that one of the few domestic issues to have bipartisan support was to cut the foreign aid budget. This book analyzes the global economic forecast and the United Nations pattern of philanthropy, provides a case study of how one nation with a tradition of giving will cope in the face of a marked reduction in flexible funds, and then provides thoughtful chapters on new approaches to disaster preparedness and disaster response. Among the contributors are the Director of UNESCO, the UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Assistance, the Secretary General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, and fresh suggestions from three well-known global entrepreneurs.All royalties from this book go to the training of humanitarian workers.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Series: International Humanitarian Affairs

More with Less

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiv

Disaster risk is increasing globally. Over the past de cade, disasters caused by natural hazards have affected more than 2.2 billion people and killed over 840,000. The economic cost of these disasters was at least $891 billion. These are losses to countries’ welfare and to individual livelihoods and future. ...

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pp. xv-xvi

This is the twelfth volume in the International Humanitarian Affairs Book Series, seven of which have been published by Fordham University Press. A number of the books have gone into multiple reprintings, and new editions; seven have been translated into French. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xx

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pp. 1-8

Humanitarian workers, if they are to be effective, must be realists. They deal every day with the cruel facts of human suffering, and no amount of rhetoric can alleviate pain or provide sustenance in times of widespread natural or man-made crises. This book reflects the reality that resources available for disaster preparedness ...

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pp. 9-10

This section offers an overview of the global economy and its impact on international humanitarian assistance. Bud getary cuts are probably inevitable—and certainly understandable—in government programs not directly helpful to a rising number of domestic unemployed dependent on the state for food, health and shelter. ...

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Globalization, Growth, Poverty,Governance, and Humanitarian Assistance

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pp. 11-33

This chapter examines humanitarian assistance to populations afflicted by major natural and man- made disasters in the broader context of the evolution of world poverty in our rapidly globalizing world. Although many natural disasters can and do occur in rich and poor countries alike, they have been, ...

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WFP: Organizational Maintenance in Uncertain Times

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pp. 34-49

There is nothing compelling about the humanitarian imperative. Any nation large or small is free to put its interests before the rescue of its neighbor. Consequently, the volume of assistance raised for emergencies abroad swells and shrinks according to three overlapping sets of calculations: consideration of national interest, ...

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Disasters—A Nation’s Experiencein an Economic Recession

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pp. 50-69

How does a government which is concerned about the plight of poor people caught up in disasters around the world but which has limited resources to help deliver a good product in terms of disaster response and disaster preparedness? That is the question this chapter addresses, using Ireland as an example of a country that is currently facing this dilemma. ...

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What Can Modern Society Learn from Indigenous Resiliency?

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pp. 70-74

The latest Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 found that “a lot of knowledge about climate adaptation is not reaching those who need it the most”—how much more of a challenge is it then to get information, good practices, and capacity-building tools into the hands of indigenous communities using nonmainstream languages, ..

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pp. 75-76

This section details the plight of several sectors of society that bear unusual burdens in any disaster. Women and children are always most vulnerable. Until recently, almost no attention was paid to a forgotten, and ignored, group who suffer from noncommunicable diseases. ...

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Providing for the Most Vulnerable in the Twenty-First Century

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pp. 77-94

When discussing disasters, humanitarian response, reconstruction, and risk reduction, it is appropriate to begin with women’s and children’s health. Women and children usually are the most affected by civil conflict, displacement, disaster, and war. As the Beijing Agenda for Global Action on Gender-Sensitive Disaster Risk Reduction (2009) set out: ...

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Noncommunicable Diseases and the New Global Health

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pp. 95-109

When most people in developed countries think of the biggest health challenges confronting the developing world, they envision a small boy in a rural, dusty village beset by an exotic parasite or bacterial blight. But increasingly, that image is wrong. Instead, it is the working- age woman living in an urban slum in a middle-income country, ...

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Humanitarian Response in the Era of Global Mobile Information Technology

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pp. 110-122

Technology is among the most difficult topics to tackle in a chapter designed to be relevant for more than a few months. The digital revolution has brought, and is still bringing, many positive changes to the world. In the humanitarian sector, technology has revitalized worldwide volunteerism through crowd-sourcing, ...

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Disasters and the Media

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pp. 123-141

For the media, a disaster is not a tragedy. It is a challenge, an opportunity. A challenge for the traditional media to find out what is happening, how to get there, what is at stake, who is to blame. For the nontraditional media, the tweeters, Facebook friends, and bloggers, it is how to get the message out, who to include, when to re-tweet someone else’s tweet. ...

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Toward a Culture of Safety and Resilience

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pp. 142-159

Disasters bring home the fragility of human societies. These events—I personally witnessed the devastation in Japan, Haiti, and Pakistan—remind us of the toll that natural disasters can have in the loss of life and infrastructure, setting development back for decades in some regions. ...

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Education and Disaster Management

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pp. 160-172

Total emergency relief aid spending has increased significantly in the last forty odd years. In 1970 total emergency aid spending was less than $1 billion per year. This figure began to rise sharply in the 1990s, and by 2010 annual spending was over $20 billion per year.1 The end of the Cold War, the subsequent proliferations of civil wars, ...

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Entrepreneurial Approaches

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pp. 173-174

Disaster management is an evolving discipline and imaginative, creative ideas can often be found by moving beyond the traditional confines of our profession. While conceiving this book, colleagues from the business world were consulted, and they offered ideas that caused me to seek the input of those who study and direct big business. ...

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Capitalizing on Travel and Tourism in Preparing for Trouble

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pp. 175-197

In January 2005, ironically only days after the Indian Ocean tsunami had claimed 225,000 lives and displaced 1.2 million others, representatives from 168 governments met in Hyogo, Japan, to discuss and then sign a historic framework. The framework, entitled the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), seeks to encourage nations ...

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Business in an Age of Emergency

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pp. 198-213

Businesses have always had a role in helping communities during tough times and especially in response to disasters. After all, business would not exist without its communities. So when tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, or tsunamis strike, businesses must do their part. ...

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An Afghan Media Tale

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pp. 214-228

When one thinks of Afghanistan the word “entrepreneurship” does not usually come to mind. More likely are such words as “war,” “terrorism,” “corruption,” and “drugs.” People tend to think of Afghanistan as a disaster zone, and in some places it still is. But there are also many areas of increasing prosperity and change and some key metrics that show great improvement. ...

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Terror, Transformed: A Financier’s Journey into Social Entrepreneurship

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pp. 229-248

My story begins innocuously, with a dinner reservation in a world-class hotel. The first part of the story ends twelve hours later after the Indian Army freed us. The second part is, and will forever be, a work in progress: to give back, in the fullest way possible, to a nation that taught me the value of life and how beauty can exist in tragedy. ...


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pp. 249-262

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List of Contributors

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pp. 263-266

H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser is the President of the United Nations General Assembly (Sixty-Sixth Session). Prior to his appointment as President, he had served the United Nations as Permanent Representative of Qatar, President of the Security Council, and in other leadership capacities since 1998. ...

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The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

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pp. 267-268

The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) is a public charity founded by a small group of international diplomats and physicians who believe that health and other humanitarian endeavors sometimes provide the only common ground for initiating dialogue, understanding, and cooperation ...


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pp. 269-275

International Humanitarian Affairs

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E-ISBN-13: 9780823250660
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823250172
Print-ISBN-10: 0823250172

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Text
Series Title: International Humanitarian Affairs