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History of Disaster Relief, Africa

  • By: Lezlie C. Erway Morinière
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

For most of the world, the African continent conjures up distinctly horrid images of starving children in the Horn (Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia in the mid- to late 1980s), genocide in Central Africa (Rwanda and Burundi in 1994) or blood diamonds in West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other countries from 1989 to 2003). Each of these images was fueled by a real disaster of epic proportions and varying origins, natural and human. Due to the level of poverty in Africa and low human development, disasters on the continent affect people directly more than they impact the economy. In fact, only two countries on the African continent figure among the top 50 whose gross domestic products (GDPs) were affected by disasters between 1991 and 2005: ...

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