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Individual and International Response to Disasters - Essay Example

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Individual and International Response to Disasters.
In a fast globalizing world where the hitherto impenetrable distances have become no more of a threat to the engagements that add value to human life irrespective of the locations…
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Individual and International Response to Disasters
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Download file to see previous pages The response towards major humanitarian disasters such as the deadly tsunami that struck Asia in December 2004 leaving approximately 200,000 people dead, scores of hundreds missing and property worth millions of dollars in damages has, no doubt, been massive (UN/ISDR par 4). From donations to volunteer services outpouring from all corners of the world, the responses with respect to the 21st century humanitarian crises without a sense of denial, have been commendable but not sufficient. Yet, the role of the media, an integral component of communication parameters, appears to be less than equal to the task of coercing the entire process with the right buttons; evidence points to synergies directed in the aftermath rather than in the preventive mechanisms. By definition, a disaster [according to the United Nations] refers to a sudden, adverse, disruptive event to the normal functioning of the society with intolerably widespread losses beyond the ability of the affected using the available resources (UN DHA/IDNDR 27). Whether man made or natural, disasters are catastrophic, instantaneous, indiscriminate in character, and more so, occur without warning thereby making adjustments efforts difficult. To be sure, man has known disasters for ages. Human suffering induced by floods and/or famines are but tales that have defied generational with deleterious damages that enjoins precious life in a long list of loses. Though helpful, the technological improvements have more than detached man from nature and made the modern era disaster occurrences even more frequent and perilous with partly irreparable consequences. Individual and international agencies/organizations respond to disasters as a show of care gesture and/or to assist in situations where facilities and resources are genuinely inadequate in addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected populations. The assistance normally ranges from immediate to long-term efforts designed to save lives of those in danger and subsequently lessen or alleviate altogether any form of suffering (“23 Principles of Humanitarian Donorship” par 3). It is worth mentioning that no single actor can successfully meet the facets of a relief/recovery without help. Indeed from the survivors’ needs spanning from health risks [nutrition and emergency shelters, for instance], to livelihood reconstructions, international disaster responses would be verily incomplete without the combinative effort from various specialized actors beginning with the affected government entities, intergovernmental organizations [the UN agencies, to be precise], nongovernmental organizations [both the domestic and the international], the Red Cross, and more importantly the support of the affected civilian populations. Nonetheless, while these actors respond uniquely in some way to humanitarian disasters, not all stretch their efforts to the ultimate objective, thus making disasters rightly multi-phased emergencies where actors only make contributions towards a desired end. Coordinated collaboration among actors is thus vital in combining specific knowledge, skills, experiences as well as technologies. While it is almost certain that these resources will ultimately meet towards the course discussed herein, quite a number of factors [argued below] determine their supply. Factors that Influence Individual and International Response to Disasters Extreme events such as the 9/11 attacks, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the more recent Hurricane Sandy in the United States did produce catastrophic impacts with long-term disruption of socio-economic systems. With the exception ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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