Home > Editorial > Red Cross warns of global warming role in disasters

Red Cross warns of global warming role in disasters

The growing role of global warming in doing natural disasters has been observed by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The comments were made by the Swiss-based humanitarian agency as it published its World Disasters Report 2007, this year concentrating on confronting discrimination of women, people with disabilities and the elderly during catastrophes.

Markku Niskala, Federation secretary-general, said that fewer people were killed in general disasters in 2006 and less financial damage was made around the world than in 2005.

But, it was noted in the annual report that floods or extreme weather had created more than two thirds of natural disasters last year and made a point that global warming was the main factor. The organisation specially wants one topic to emphasize this year, which forms the second part of its report, is discrimination in disasters. This, it says, demands to be viewed in disaster preparedness programmes and accessing in aid.

Among those especially vulnerable are Women, the aged, certain minorities and people with disabilities—”people whose views are seldom sought out or heard,” said the agency.

Niskala in a statement said: “The answer to this discrimination must be dialogue, openness and understanding. Aid agencies need to work to change attitudes, develop inclusion and advocate on behalf of marginalised groups. Discrimination thrives in the shadows, so we need to chase those shadows away”.

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