This week, the British Red Cross is launching a long-term recovery programme in the Philippines as the disaster-prone country continues to recover from super-storm Haiyan and braces itself for the onslaught of this year's typhoon season. But as we mark six months since the typhoon hit, many organisations specialising in emergency response are leaving and the levels of support have dwindled, even though the needs remain immense.
Every day, rapid growth and urbanization increase the exposure of people and assets to earthquakes, floods, storms and other natural hazards... While disasters affect everyone, it is the poor and vulnerable - women, children, the elderly, and those recovering from conflict - who are most exposed. When hazards strike, their homes in fragile and often low-lying environments take the brunt of the impact.
Most of us consider our homes our safe place, but they can be the real enemies in an earthquake... With the Pakistan-Iran quake of 24 April at 7.8 magnitude killing 35 people and with 1000s of homes destroyed by the quake, the question of how to make buildings earthquake proof is a very important one.