“To prevent the worst from happening” campaign explains how disasters affect development.

It is impossible to achieve sustainable development and a permanent reduction in poverty unless we are able to manage the impacts of various risks on the lives of the most vulnerable people. Materialised risks escalate into catastrophes. Drought can cause internal displacement or conflict. An uncontrolled cholera epidemic can kill thousands of people. After a flood, dirty water increases the risk of epidemics. Risks are not equally distributed; instead, their impact is most devastating on those who are unable to prepare due to poverty, lack of a livelihood or some other similar circumstance. The Red Cross helps the most vulnerable people by building their capacity to identify, prevent and prepare for potential accidents, crises and disasters. When a disaster strikes, people are not just helpless victims but instead have the capacity immediately to help themselves and others. It is the key objective of the Red Cross to make people better equipped to withstand disasters and to recover from their losses. The Red Cross engages in long-term cooperation with the objective of building families, communities and societies that can withstand disasters; communities that not only prepare for disasters, but are also able to recover from them with minimum damage. A community or society able to withstand disasters and crises is resilient. Resilience means an ability to use emergency relief and aid resources in such a way as to prevent the community from being affected by the same crisis again.



Which parts of the world are affected by war, disease or natural disasters? How do they affect the lives of people, and what can the Red Cross do to help? Download the Risk Zones tablet application free of charge from any app store or try out the online edition.

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