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Civil society calls for inclusive DRR

21 July 2014

Geneva - The lack of privacy for women in emergency shelters – managed by men - following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami was cited today as an example of how gender issues can be overlooked in disaster risk management as civil society took centre stage at preparatory talks in Geneva on the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction scheduled for Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.

“Even worse, women told us they feared being sexually molested which did happen in several cases.

Why is disaster risk so hard to grasp?

14 May 2014

When six Italian scientists and an ex-government official were handed six-year prison sentences for manslaughter linked to the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila that killed 309 people, the legal arguments turned on whether a national risk committee that met just before the disaster had failed to provide public information that could have saved lives.

The prosecution accused the government of downplaying the likelihood of a damaging earthquake, while the defence argued that such events cannot be predicted accurately.

Irrespective of who was right, this case brought international attention to the

Hails storms batter north, central Vietnam, winds swirl in south

9 April 2014

Hailstorms injured at least five people and damaged around 4,300 houses in the northern highlands Monday and 90 others in the Central Highlands Tuesday while a storm destroyed more houses in the south.

Hoang Thai, director of the agriculture department in the northern province of Cao Bang, said the hail hit four districts from 8:30 to 10:15 p.m. .

Some of the ice pellets were the size of a human fists, locals said. .

They said the ice broke through the roofs and damaged the insides of their houses. Thai said the hail was both the most violent and widespread ever in Cao Bang. .

Five people

Rethinking aid and corruption in Vietnam

9 April 2014

Analysts say major graft allegations stemming from a Japanese aid project warrant a reconsideration of aid’s role in international relations and a deeper rooting-out of corruption

In a show of assuring the public about its resolve to tackle rampant graft, Vietnam suspended several officials and ordered scores of others to clarify their involvement in allegations that a Japanese firm had paid bribes to secure a deal for a rail project in Hanoi.

A deputy transport minister almost immediately led a delegation to Japan last month only to learn that agencies concerned there would not be able to