Organisation - January 27, 2005

Reducing disasters

Dr Thea Hilhorst, a researcher at the Disaster Studies group, voiced strong criticisms last week during an international conference on natural disasters in Kobe, Japan. She believes that countries everywhere in the world can do more to limit the effects of disasters. Hilhorst was speaking on behalf of researchers and civil society organisations, as a result of discussions that arose in the corridors of the conference, that agreed that the 150 countries represented at the conference had set themselves too few concrete goals. Hilhorst thinks that a figure of fifty percent fewer deaths resulting from disasters can be achieved, for example by building more disaster-proof hospitals and schools, and introducing more warning systems. / JT

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