While natural disasters always leave devastation in their paths, the recovery is always harder for the world’s poor. The countries with the most hurricanes are, in increasing order, Cuba, Madagascar, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia, the U.S., Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and China.
The storms may be unbiased when they hit, but the work to recover is nowhere near equal. This is why it is detrimental that the countries with the most hurricanes are also those with the least amount of preparation for them. This is evident because of events such as Hurricane Matthew. Although it created damage to the southeastern portion of the U.S., the devastation in Haiti was unparalleled.
Between 1996 and 2015, more than a million people were killed by natural disasters. Ninety percent of the deaths occurred in low and medium income countries.
In countries such as the Philippines, which can expect between eight and nine hurricanes a year, the population isn’t prepared for the devastation these storms bring. The majority live in homes that are weakly constructed and do not stand a chance against nature’s wrath. With a population of 96 million, of whom 19.2 percent fall below the poverty line, it is impossible to recover from one storm before the next strikes.
Behind Mexico’s brightly decorated resorts and tourist destinations, there is a population of more than 40 percent living in poverty. Although preventive measures lessened the blow from Hurricane Patricia in 2015, the nation is still recovering from its wake.
Global organizations are quick to respond to disasters all over the world. The U.N. and the Red Cross work to have people on the ground in the affected country immediately.
UNICEF takes the preventative path to these problems and works with some of the countries with the most hurricanes to improve emergency response strategies and prepare them for the natural disasters that are sure to come.
The organization also works to develop indications for the decision-makers in the least developed countries to follow when assessing the needs of children during disasters.
– Emily Trosclair