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Before disaster strikes: HI helps the most vulnerable to be better prepared.


On the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on the 13th of October, HI experts explain how we aim to include everyone in resilience-building initiatives. 

Cyclone resistant local construction following cyclone ENAWO, Madagascar

Cyclone resistant local construction following cyclone ENAWO, Madagascar | © CARE, 2017

When disaster strikes not everybody is affected equally.

“Natural and man-made emergencies often reveal inequality and vulnerability in society. Groups that are disproportionately affected include people with disabilities, the elderly, women, children and individuals who are socially excluded.”  

Julien Fouilland, HI Disaster Risk Reduction expert

Not only are these groups rarely asked to participate when a community puts in place preparedness activities before the next disaster, but they are often forgotten during response or recovery activities and thereby have a harder path to recovery.

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) aims to decrease exposure to hazards by reducing the vulnerability of people and their property, including through better preparation.

HI works in 16 disaster-prone countries around the world. Florence Le Paulmier, as Inclusive DRR adviser, has been working on inclusive DRR activities in Madagascar:

“Since 2017 HI and our partner CARE, have been working with communities vulnerable to cyclones in three parts of the country (East coast, West coast and North coast ). One of the activities aims to promote sustainable construction methods that can resist violent winds.”

The image above shows two structures following the passage of cylone ENAWO in 2017. The building left standing demonstrates only too clearly how well these paracycloniques techniques with local materials can work.

Simple measures such as this contribute to making communities more resilient and inclusive in order to preserve the lives of all people, regardless of age, gender or disability, with the obligation not to leave anyone behind when disaster strikes.

HI DRR Activities

•    HI has been implementing DRR activities for 15 years
•    We are currently running 20 DRR projets in 16 countries
•    HI helps other DRR actors to be inclusive of people with specific needs

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Fatou Thiam


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