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October 2010

Analysis: Are humanitarians learning the lessons from Haiti?

29 October 2010

LONDON, 28 October 2010 (IRIN) - Listen to locals, tap into existing capacity, coordinate needs assessments, find strong leaders and provide transitional shelter - not just tents. These are some of the lessons to have emerged from the 2007 tsunami evaluation, numerous earthquake responses and the latest Haiti real-time evaluation, begging the question: when will the humanitarian community start applying these lessons learned. [ http://www.alnap.org/resource/5536.aspx; http://www.urd.org/spip.php?article458; http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=87825 ]

“There is still a tendency not

Viet Nam: Teaching new sanitation habits

29 October 2010

CHAU DOC, 28 October 2010 (IRIN) - Vann Sopheap, an ethnic Cambodian who lives in this small border town in Vietnam, prefers the outdoors to the bathroom. “It smells much nicer outside,” he says. “The toilets are too dirty.”

Villagers such as Vann are often reluctant to use latrines, a behaviour that contributes to the prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases in Vietnam, which can sometimes become deadly, especially for children under-five.

According to the UN, some 10 million people in Vietnam continue to practise open defecation.

Each year more than 20,000 people die in the country because of a

EU Commission proposes to improve European disaster response

28 October 2010

Summary: 26 October 2010, Brussels - A step towards faster and more efficient EU response to disasters was made today, as the European Commission presented proposals to reinforce the Union’s capacity to act on civil protection and humanitarian assistance. The aim is to improve the disaster response of the European Union, both within and outside of its borders.

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: “The world is changing and the number of disasters worldwide has risen fivefold since 1975. From the earthquake in

Big economies of the future most at risk from climate change

28 October 2010

Big economies of the future - Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan - most at risk from climate change

A new global ranking, calculating the vulnerability of 170 countries to the impacts of climate change over the next 30 years, identifies some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, including India, as facing the greatest risks to their populations, ecosystems and business environments.

The new Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), released by global risks advisory firm Maplecroft, enables organisations to identify areas of risk within their operations,

EU Commission proposes to improve European disaster response

28 October 2010

26 October 2010, Brussels - A step towards faster and more efficient EU response to disasters was made today, as the European Commission presented proposals to reinforce the Union’s capacity to act on civil protection and humanitarian assistance. The aim is to improve the disaster response of the European Union, both within and outside of its borders.

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: “The world is changing and the number of disasters worldwide has risen fivefold since 1975. From the earthquake in Haiti to

First Asia-Pacific Disaster Report Launched by ESCAP and ISDR

27 October 2010

People in the Asia-Pacific region are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those in Africa and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America, says a UN report released here today at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).

The first of its kind, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2010 report (Download here) was launched at the AMC DRR by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

The Prime Minister of

WB Urges Collective Action to Reduce Climate Change and Natural Disasters Impacts on Asian Economies

26 October 2010

Seoul, Korea, October 26, 2010 — The World Bank today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding later this year with the Government of Korea, to strengthen cooperation and sharing of expertise in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation among Asian nations.

MYANMAR: Cyclone Giri tests government-aid agency relations

26 October 2010

BANGKOK, 25 October 2010 (IRIN) - Cooperation has been good between relief agencies and national authorities after Cyclone Giri struck western Myanmar on 22 October, but it is still too early to know what access international staff will have to the hardest-hit areas.

“Neutral humanitarian assistance is more accepted now than in [Cyclone] Nargis times, so we will see in the coming days,” said Bernd Schell, head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Myanmar.

Cyclone Nargis, which hit in May 2008, became the largest natural disaster

Fifteen dead found with sunken Vietnamese bus

21 October 2010

HANOI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Vietnamese salvage crews dragged a sunken bus and the bodies of 15 passengers out of a swollen river on Thursday, three days after floodwaters swept the vehicle off a highway in central Vietnam, media reported.

The end of the rainy season often brings severe weather in east Asia. One of the biggest typhoons in years was threatening the Chinese coast after battering the Philippines while Thailand and Cambodia were also facing deadly floods.

In Vietnam, some of the worst flooding in years had killed 54 people and left 20 missing in the past week, according to the

From Ox Carts to Canoes, Viet Nam Red Cross uses what it takes to reach flood survivors

21 October 2010

Viet Nam has been inundated with two serious floods in as many weeks, as flood waters rose swiftly after exceptionally heavy rains. Over 80 are confirmed dead after the two instances and some half million are affected.

Though footage of the army delivering food via helicopter has made the evening news in Viet Nam some of the transportation means used by the Viet Nam Red Cross have been much more humble, but effective in getting to those in need: xe bo, or simple carts hauled through isolated areas by cows.

These xe bo working in the service of local branches of the Red Cross have been

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