Alliance for Sustainable Development

Emergency Humanitarian Services for Poor and Developing Nations

Disasters can occur at any time and at any region of the world. Poor nations find it tough to cope with it, but sometimes even developed nations can’t find an answer to a disaster. For example, the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan due to an earthquake and then a tsunami was the worst nuclear disaster in Japan. It was the second worst on record after the Chernobyl disaster that happened in 1986.

Recent disasters in Haiti in the form of earthquake claimed hundreds of lives and it was bound to happen. While the obvious reason for Haiti’s being an underdeveloped nation was the top one, poor infrastructure and a lack of emergency funds to combat such disasters were another key aspect. That huge disaster could have been averted if Haiti had any emergency funds available.

Let me describe this aspect in detail as to what happened and how an emergency fund could have made a difference.

2010 Haiti Earthquake

The 2010 Haiti earthquake claimed around 200,000 lives, and the economic fallout was between $8 and $8.5 billion dollars. You can just assume what happened to that country as it was already reeling after the worldwide economic meltdown of 2007-8. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused extensive damage throughout the region but lack of emergency funds made it impossible to start the rescue and rehabilitation services quickly.

It is well-known now that emergency humanitarian assistance services can make a huge difference in event of such a disaster. Even though Japan was not prepared for the damage on such a scale, they had the means and resources to lessen the damage, and they did it comprehensively. The need for emergency humanitarian funds nowadays is important as there are still dozens of countries that may need such assistance in case of a big disaster, like the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Aid for War-Stricken Countries

Wars, especially when a country invades another one through land and air can do extensive damage. Even if a country has enough resources, a small-scale war can have extensive damage to a city or some regions. The rehabilitation process and complete overhaul of that place can take years. The recent situation in Ukraine is no different as already in 3 weeks, extensive damage has been done. And it could take several months to make places habitable.

Even if there is an emergency fund available, the whole process can take several months or years. First of all, situations like these must be averted. But if anything can go wrong, it will. And that is why such emergency funds must be in place for every country, especially for poor and developing countries. Humanitarian assistance services are not just for wars but also for other situations where considerable damage to property and human life has occurred.

Damage can occur due to natural disasters or through human error, like a huge building or bridge going down due to an error in its construction. Small-scale and big-scale emergency humanitarian assistance and services are required, and countries should be on alert for such services. For developing nations, private and government organizations should allocate funds so that a quick recovery process can be initiated. And human power should be trained to cope up with such situations.

Over to you

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