We can’t prevent disasters, but we can help prevent the human tragedies they cause
October 12, 2012 - Since the year 2000, natural disasters have become more frequent ─ almost 1 million people have lost their lives to disasters; 2 billion people have been affected, and huge financial losses were caused.
Women and children suffer the most during disasters, being 14 times more likely to die in a disaster than men. On average, half of those who die in natural disasters are children, studies show.
At the same time, women and children are not only victims, but they have significant roles to play in risk reduction, and can make a number of positive contributions by assessing community risk factors, designing recovery plans, and informing people about risks and solutions.
Moldova is increasingly exposed to the threat of natural disasters, including floods, landslides, droughts, frosts, earthquakes. Because of the climate change this phenomena are expected to intensify in the coming years. The most vulnerable are poor families with children, especially in rural areas, who depend on agriculture and are not prepared to withstand these hazards.
The United Nations−Republic of Moldova Partnership Framework for 2013-2017 will provide support to the Moldovan Government to manage risk disasters. UN agencies will support central and local authorities to better respond to new challenges, including through awareness raising, policy work, capacity building and coordination mechanisms.
UNICEF has launched recently a regional project involving Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro that will contribute to reducing disaster risks and mitigating the impact on communities. The 1 year pilot project will address the impact of disasters from the perspective of socio-economic vulnerability of communities, with an emphasis on families with children. UNICEF together with central authorities and other partners will select 2-3 target communities and make a risk analysis to assess the population vulnerability to disasters, will undertake information and awareness raising activities and capacity building. Women, children and adolescents will be involved at different stages of the project, ensuring their important role in disaster prevention and reduction.