It is the worst catastrophe in Haiti's history: on January 12, a devastating earthquake struck near the capital, Port-au-Prince, killing thousands of people.
The International Red Cross has said that 3 million people--nearly a third of Haiti's population--will need food, water and shelter for months to come.
|Explaining the housing program admistered by the Multi-Donor Fund to a group of residents.|
(Geumala Yatim, who started working with communities in Aceh soon after the 2004 tsunami hit, is writing a book about her experiences there. This is adapted from one of its chapters).
At the time, I was at my friend Oscar’s house, getting ready to attend a Christmas party at another friend’s house. Oscar asked me to turn the TV on to CNN or BBC. “I heard there’s a big natural disaster somewhere on the tip of Sumatra. Aceh probably. Not sure,” he said. Up until we left the house, both channels were relaying non-stop reports on natural disasters in Thailand and Sri Lanka. No reports on what was happening on the tip of Sumatra thus far.
It surprised me a little bit when I was driving my family along the west coast of Aceh a couple of weeks ago. Not too far from Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh’s province, a 15 meters wide- fresh-paved asphalt road built by the US absolutely has framed Aceh into another window of opportunity. This strategic road will connect Banda Aceh and some other districts in the west coast, which was washed away by the tsunami. Before the disaster, it was narrow and poorly maintained.
As advanced by my colleague James a few days ago, here's a second slideshow on natural disasters in Vietnam, this time showing prevention and mitigation measures put in place across the country. Again, the photos are striking. And the actions, varied and ingenious.
Some of my colleagues in the Vietnam office of the World Bank, working with Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspapers, recently organized a photo contest and exhibition on the topic of natural disasters. I thought I’d share some of the finalist entries, which are remarkable in their composition and relevance. It’s important to note that these pictures are not related to the disasters that have hit several East Asian and Pacific countries in recent weeks. Nevertheless, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to click through the pictures below, which focus on the human toll of natural disasters in Vietnam. Check back in a couple days for more photos from the same contest.
|Pongtip Puvacharoen works at the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific stand on the first day of Carbon Expo in Barcelona.|
The last year and a half has been an interesting time in Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma). First, in September 2007 there were mass protests led by Buddhist monks. Then, in May of last year, cyclone Nargis devastated the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, the country’s most populous area and its agricultural heartland.
|The flooding has resulted in mass cancellation of tourist travel plans, which will flow through to job losses, business failures and ultimately affect families already suffering from the direct impact of the floods.|
So far, at least 11 people have been reported killed, from drowning and mudslides, though given the isolation of many villages, this number is probably much understated.
As would be expected the immediate impact is widespread damage to infrastructure. Homes, public buildings and businesses have been destroyed with around 10,000 people living in evacuation centres. Roads and bridges have been washed away effectively cutting off access for emergency workers and rescue teams. Electricity and water supplies have been cut and food supplies destroyed, washed away or still underwater.