Birmingham event highlights dangerously inadequate preparation for disasters

As world leaders are soon to debate the effects of climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Islamic Relief is teaming up with the University of Birmingham for an event on November 29.

ClimateThis will highlight why the international community should look at the benefits of climate-change adaptation programmes as one solution to preventing the loss of lives from climate-related disasters.

The number of climate-related disasters increased by an average of 4.1% a year from 1980 to 2010.  In 2010/11, a succession of major natural disasters affected more than 25 million people. There were floods in Pakistan; an earthquake in Haiti and typhoons across the Asian countries of Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Since then, prolonged drought has led to massive food and water shortages across East and West Africa, and there are currently more than 29 million people suffering from chronic malnutrition.

For the 54 million-plus people around the world whose lives have been devastated by these emergencies, the response from the international community has too often been too little, too late. Instead of equipping people and communities with the skills and tools they need to prepare for and protect themselves against natural disasters, aid mainly arrives at the last minute when people may already have lost loved ones, crops, livestock and livelihoods.

Islamic Relief believes it is time for a change in strategy.  If more money was invested in resilience and climate-change adaptation programmes, fewer people would die and fewer homes and businesses would be destroyed when the next disaster strikes.

For this mission to succeed, however, a change in attitude is required from governments, global institutions and the general donor public. Awareness needs to be raised on the importance of disaster preparedness, the cost-benefits of working in this way and the number of lives that can be saved.

Join the University of Birmingham, Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Director of the World Development Movement and the Associate Editor of the New Statesman to discuss how investment in climate-change adaption programmes and resilience could save thousands of lives during natural disasters.

Event Date: November 29 2012
Location: Main Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston {view campus map}
Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Free event but booking is essential. Please contact Reyhana Patel at [email protected] OR 0121 622 0710 for more information or see the poster for further details.

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