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Disasters and Poverty

      Disaster Management & Response is one of many health-related journals participating in a world-wide effort to bring attention to poverty and its impact on health. The facts regarding poverty and disaster are very clear and disconcerting: Poverty and disasters are inextricably linked, both in the United States and other countries. The overwhelming number of disaster-related deaths due to natural or human-made causes occur in underdeveloped countries.

      United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Disaster Reduction Unit. Poverty, sustainable development and disaster reduction. Available at: http://www.undp.org/bcpr/disred/. Accessed July 14, 2007.

      In more developed countries, the poor also are most affected, as evidenced by the New Orleans residents who experienced the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many factors influence both the occurrence of disasters as well as their consequences, including geography/climate change, personal resources, infrastructure, and political instability.
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      References

      1. United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Disaster Reduction Unit. Poverty, sustainable development and disaster reduction. Available at: http://www.undp.org/bcpr/disred/. Accessed July 14, 2007.

      2. Disaster Control Priorities Project. Natural disasters: coping with the health impact. July 2007. Available at: http://www.dep2.org. Accessed September 9, 2007.

      3. Sherman A, Shapiro I. Essential facts about the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Available at: http://www.cbpp.org. Accessed September 1, 2007.

      4. World Health Organization. Third of African malaria deaths due to conflict or natural disaster. Partnership plan to improve emergency response to prevent malaria. Available at: http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-46.htm. Accessed September 9, 2007.

      5. Large T. Case study—Bangladesh takes on poverty and disaster. Routers Foundation AlertNet. Available at: http://www.alertnet.org/printable.htm?URL=/thefacts/reliefresources/110604657337.htm. Accessed July 14, 2007.

        • Seaman J.
        • Maguire S.
        ABC of conflict and disaster. The special needs of women and children.
        Br Med J. 2005; 331: 34-36
      6. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World. Guidelines for National Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation. World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, Yokohama, Japan, May 23-27, 1994. Available at: http://www.unisdr.org/eng/about_isdr/bd-yokohama-strat-eng.htm. Accessed July 9, 2007.

      7. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Available at: http://www.unisdr.org/wcdr. Accessed July 9, 2007.

      8. Hyogo. Framework for action 2005–2015: building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. Available at: http://www.unisdr.org/wcdr. Accessed July 9, 2007.

      9. Planet Ark. Insurers see more disasters due to climate change. November 2, 2001. Available at: http://www.planetare.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/13100/story.htm. Accessed September 10, 2007.