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South America

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

South America is vulnerable to both natural and human-made disasters. Recent disasters affecting the region include earthquakes, floods, droughts, disease pandemics, food insecurity, and conflicts. Average annual costs for disasters in the region average from millions to billions of dollars in property and infrastructural damages and agricultural losses. Public awareness of risks and preparedness has recently risen, and comprehensive national and regional emergency management systems have improved, with variations in effectiveness among countries. A lack of political will and national funding remains, especially in the areas of disaster mitigation and preparedness. The human toll from disasters has remained steady, while the damage toll continues to rise. Recovery from disaster is often a long, slow process in the region.

South America is one of the most ...

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