Bracing for Disaster
Natural disasters wreak havoc without discrimination, wiping out homes, livelihoods, a country's economic gains, and often many individual lives. Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe have all been struck by catastrophes in recent years. Asia, however, has been hit hardest: 40% of the world's disasters have occurred in the region in the past decade, resulting in a disproportionate 80% of disaster deaths. And Asia's poor, lacking in resources and more vulnerable and exposed to the elements, have borne the brunt of these cataclysms. Touted as the next economic power, Asia cannot afford to continue along this path. Countries in distress will be hard-pressed to reach their development goals as funds meant for fortifying social and economic infrastructure get diverted for emergency relief and reconstruction. Efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries could suffer sizeable setbacks.
Asian Development Bank
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Development Asia features development issues important to the Asia and Pacific region. It is published four times a year by the Asian Development Bank. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank or Haymarket Media Ltd. Use of the term "country" does not imply any judgment by the authors or the Asian Development Bank as to the legal or other status of any territorial entity.
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