Sudden-onset natural and technological disasters impose a substantial health burden, either directly onthe population or indirectly on the capacity of the health services to address primary health care needs.The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters merits special attention. This chapterdoes not address epidemics of emerging or reemerging diseases, chronic degradation of theenvironment, progressive climatic change, or health problems associated with famine and temporarysettlements.In line with the definition of health adopted in the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO),the chapter treats disasters as a health condition or risk, which, as any other "disease," should be thesubject of epidemiological analysis, systematic control, and prevention, rather than merely as anemergency medicine or humanitarian matter. The chapter stresses the interdependency between long-term sustainable development and catastrophic events, leading to the conclusion that neither can beaddressed in isolation."A disaster is a natural or man-made event that negatively affects life, property, livelihood or industryoften resulting in permanent changes to human societies, ecosystems and environment." As thedefinition suggests, disasters are highly disruptive events that cause suffering, deprivation, hardship,injury and even death, as a result of direct injury, disease, the interruption of commerce and business,and the partial or total destruction of critical infrastructure such as homes, hospitals, and other buildings,roads, bridges, power lines, etc. Disasters can be caused by naturally occurring events, such asearthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, or tornadoes, or they can be due to man-made events, eitheraccidental (such as an accidental toxic spill or nuclear power plant event), or deliberately caused (suchas various terrorist bombings and poisonings).The Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23 rd – 28 th of January 2011Page 2 of 7 | Research ReportDefinition of Key TermsTornadoA small, very intense cyclonic storm with exceedingly high winds, most often produced along coldfronts in conjunction with severe thunderstormsHurricaneA severe storm that develops over tropical oceans and whose strong winds of more than 120 km/hspiral in toward the intensely low-pressure storm centerWeatheringThe breaking down of rocks and other materials on the Earth's surface.ErosionCondition in which the earth's surface is worn away by the action of water and windCoriolis EffectCauses moving air and water to turn left in the southern hemisphere and turn right in the northernhemisphere due to Earth's rotationCold frontForms when cold air (more dense) moves under warm air (less dense)and pushes air up. Itproduces thunderstorms, heavy rain, or snow, and is then followed by clear weather.Warm frontWarm air mass (less dense) pushes a cold air (more dense) mass. The warm air slides over the coldair, and the rising air condenses, then forms light rains, followed by clear weatherStationary frontWhen a warm air mass and a cold air mass meet and no movement occurs. Rain could last for days.Occluded frontA front where a warm air mass is caught between two colder air masses and brings cooltemperatures and large amounts of rain and snowDhahran Ahliyya Schools Model United Nations 2017 | 24 th – 25 st of February 2017Research Report | Page 3 of 7Background InformationDisasters as a Public Health ConditionAccording to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,internationally reported disasters in 2002 affected 608 million people worldwide and killed 24,532—wellbelow the preceding decade's annual average mortality of 62,000 (IFRC 2003). Many more wereaffected by myriad local disasters that escaped international notice.Disaster has multiple and changing definitions. The essential common element of those definitions is thatdisasters are unusual public health events that overwhelm the coping capacity of the affectedcommunity. This concept precludes the universal adoption of a threshold number of casualties or victims.What would be a minor incident in a large country may constitute a major disaster in a small isolatedisland state. Not only are "quantitative definitions of disasters unworkably simplistic" as noted byAlexander (1997, 289), but when based on the economic toll or the number of deaths, they are alsomisleading with regard to the immediate health needs of the survivors or their long-term impact on theaffected country.Classification of DisastersIn the early 1970s, a series of well-publicized disasters (the civil war and resulting famine in Biafra, thecyclone in Bangladesh, and the earthquake in Peru) triggered the scientific interest of the internationalpublic health community.Disasters can be classified as natural disasters, technological disasters, or complex emergencies. Thelatter include civil wars and conflicts. These classifications are arbitrary and refer to the immediatetrigger—a natural phenomenon or hazard (biological, geological, or climatic); a technologically originatedproblem; or a conflict. In reality, all disasters are complex events stemming from the interaction ofexternal phenomena and the vulnerability of man and society.The human responsibility in so-called natural disasters is well acknowledged. The term natural disasterremains commonly used and should not be understood as denying a major human responsibility for theconsequences.Major Countries and Organizations InvolvedColombiaColombia is vulnerable to earthquakes and are upgrading their seismic surveillance networks.Although earthquakes cannot be predicted and very few are preceded by clearly identifiableThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23 rd – 28 th of January 2011Page 4 of 7 | Research Reportprecursory events, the networks can facilitate emergency response (by giving the intensity andlocation of the tremors) and can provide early warning to tsunami-prone regions.GreeceGreece is among Europe's most earthquake prone countries as they lie on the meeting point ofthe African and Eurasian tectonic plates. Among the most notable in Greece's recent historywas the 1953 quake that struck Kefalonia and Zakynthos, killing 476. The 1999 Athensearthquake, meanwhile, which had a magnitude of 6, killed 143 people.JamaicaJamaica, because of its location, geology and geography, is prone to several natural hazards.The major threats include landslides, hurricanes, floods, droughts and earthquakes. Thesehazards, when combined with situations of high vulnerability, usually result in disasters ofvarying severity.Secretary-General ReportDate Description of eventImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionImplementation of the International Strategy for Disaster ReductionRelevant UN Treaties and EventsProtection of persons in the event of disasters ( May 2008)200120012002200320042010Dhahran Ahliyya Schools Model United Nations 2017 | 24 th – 25 st of February 2017Research Report | Page 5 of 7Previous Attempts to solve the IssueThe United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) .The UNDMT partners with andprovides technical support to government, civil society organizations, communities and other relevantstakeholders in their efforts to address the challenges of hazard and climate change impact in supportingan effective Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction action to enhance communityresilience. In 2013, the UNDMT’s work has focused on four key strategies: Capacity building, KnowledgeManagement, Advocacy and Policy, and Humanitarian Action.Norway are using geographic information systems, technical models, and satellite data time series toprepare for potential risks related to climate change. Norway's Climate Change and Its Impacts inNorway (NORKLIMA) aims to identify regions and sectors that may be particularly vulnerable to climatechange over the next 30-50 years, and to provide input for a national strategy for adaptation to projectedclimate change. Committee for Earth Observation Satellites( CEOS), International co-ordination of these resources is improving continuously. In this regard theCommittee for Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) created in 2011 a dedicated task force for better co-ordination of satellite observation in disaster risk management chaired by Italy.Global Observing Systems (GOS), The World Meteorological Organization’s Global Observing System(GOS) provides daily observations on the state of the atmosphere and ocean surface. Theseobservations are used to prepare weather analyses, forecasts, advisories and warnings. The systemrelies on thousands of national ground stations, upper-air stations, reporting ships at sea, drifting buoys,and aircraft providing reports on pressure, winds and temperature during flight. But it also depends onobservations from operational geostationary satellites (situated in a 36 000 km arc around the Earth) andlow Earth-orbit satellites.Creating a special meeting in ECOSOC with the objective of drawing on recent experience of countriesalong with experts on the topic to discuss the current situation and the economic, social andenvironmental impacts of the natural disasters on the affected countries and how these will impactdevelopment gains and the countries’ capacities to implement the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment and achieve the SDGs. Also, to share measures and practices by countries to manage andrespond to the natural disasters, and draw lessons from the previous ones. To examine how the UnitedNations system, regional and international organizations, civil society organizations, the private sectorand the scientific community can work better together at all levels to help countries effectively reducedisaster risk and strengthen resilience, prepare for and respond to future disaster events, with thesupport of risk financing instruments. To discuss the importance and mechanisms for accessing financeon concessional terms for climate vulnerable states, including SIDS. Lastly, to discuss the importance ofThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23 rd – 28 th of January 2011Page 6 of 7 | Research Reportrevisiting the criteria for country classification and the need to include vulnerability to economic shocksand natural disasters as a key considerationPossible SolutionsOne way to prevent natural disasters is providing early warning systems, we can see the firstsigns of oncoming famine almost a year ahead of time. However, these early warnings are only helpful ifthey lead to early action. For instance, a joint report by Save the Children and Oxfam regarding thefamine in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia pointed out that early action could have avoided as many as100,000 deaths, more than half of which were among children under five.Not only do early interventionssave more lives, they are also more cost-effective.One study in northern Kenya found that it was three times more expensive to restock a core herd thanto keep animals alive through supplementary feeding. And in the Afar region of Ethiopia, restockingsheep and goats costs at least six times more than supplementary feeding. Restocking cattle costs 14times more. With the spread of mobile phones throughout Africa, and with 79 percent penetration in thedeveloping world in total, households and villages have unprecedented access to information aboutimpending weather patterns and how to react to them.Another way is by mobile technology, For instance, with German support, Egypt has launched a mobilephone service “Blue Line” that disseminates information about water supply and allocation so thatvillagers in remote areas know where and when water can be accessed both for themselves and theircrops. Similarly, with the backing of the World Bank, the Kenyan government is using SMS technology toalert local farmers to upcoming bad weather so they can begin to prepare themselves for times ofhardship.

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