World Disasters Report: Focus on culture and risk

World Disasters Report: Focus on culture and risk

For 2014 the World Disasters Report looks at different aspects of how culture affects disaster risk reduction (DRR) and how disasters and risk influence culture. It highlights that most people who live in places that are exposed to serious hazards are aware of the risks they face, including earthquakes, tropical cyclones, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides and droughts. Yet they still live there for a variety of reasons, including livelihoods or having no alternative. The report argues that culture and beliefs enable people to live with risks and make sense of their lives in dangerous places. Sometimes, though, unequal power relations are also part of culture, and those who have little influence must inevitably cope with threatening environments. It highlights that the work of the Red Cross Red Crescent will have less sustained impact if it does not adequately take account of people’s cultures, beliefs and attitudes in relation to risk.

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