“This Red Cross research is a very serious wake-up call for Governments and the entire international humanitarian sector,” said Jemilah Mahmood, Under Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who is visiting Australia this week.
“Among the millions of people missing out on any aid in crises are those without identification papers, the marginalised such as sexual or ethnic minorities and many who are hard to reach due to armed conflict or being in remote locations,” Dr Mahmood said.
The 2018 World Disasters Report recommends that government and international humanitarian organisations improve how data is collected and shared across the sector, and then used to reach those that are at great risk. All governments are also being urged to prioritise and increase support for the hardest to reach populations in all disasters.
“Our report highlights that people who are isolated and not receiving help in disasters could be better supported if local and national agencies in the Asia Pacific and beyond are empowered and resourced to do more in their countries. Local actors are often the only ones able to reach people in remote or insecure areas and more needs to be done to support strengthening first responders before disaster strikes.
“Only 2.9% (AU$850 million) of all international humanitarian aid was provided directly to local and national responders in 2017. We can and must do much better than that,” Dr Mahmood said.
The World Disasters Report confirms that there needs to be a fundamental shift in dramatically increasing investment in preparing for disasters and building resilience in communities.
Mr Walton said: “Globally, the cost of damage caused by disasters in 2017 was a staggering $472 billion. Yet research shows that every dollar spent on reducing risks saves up to $8 when disasters strike.”
The World Disasters Report is produced by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It includes comprehensive disaster data and analysis on disaster management. Learn more about the report at ifrc.org/wdr18.