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Opinion

4 ways to prevent natural disasters from becoming human tragedies

The catastrophic impact of climate change – especially on the developing world – is not inevitable. Here are four cutting-edge tools to anticipate and minimize the damage from natural disasters.

- Vishnu Sridharan, August 28, 2012

3. Giving money directly to the poor so they can help themselves

Less than five years ago, giving money and vouchers to individuals affected by natural disasters was “not widely accepted” as an emergency response. However, most recently in the Sahel region of Africa, both the World Food Programme and USAID are using cash and cash-for-work initiatives to both help vulnerable families get back on their feet and support the local economy.

In addition, providing resources directly to families allows them to choose for themselves which of their needs are most urgent and thus gives them the power to plan their own lives.


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