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Relief versus Development

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

Saving lives is the aim of the relief phase of risk management, and starts in the immediate aftermath of a disaster event. Development is a long-term process most often portraying economic or social progress toward an optimum level. Consensus holds that despite the importance of efficient humanitarian response, more lives would be saved if development were successful in attenuating risk prior to disasters. Relief and development, therefore, are often represented as two extreme ends of a continuum with those working at each end serving different and often opposing functions. Although this has long been known as the relief-to-development or the disaster-to-development continuum, experience attests that the processes involved are not necessarily linear or cyclical. In fact, disasters are now commonly considered chronic, recurrent, and normal ...

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