Désastre et Développement

NEW YORK – Lorsque le typhon Hagupit a frappé les Philippines le 6 décembre dernier, le souvenir du typhon Haiyan et des 6300 victimes était encore très présent à l’esprit des habitants. Selon les Nations Unies, quelques 227 000 familles – soit plus d’un million de personnes – ont cette fois été évacuées avant l’arrivée de Hagupit. Le typhon, l’un des plus puissants de la saison, a provoqué la mort d’une trentaine de personnes. Si ces disparitions sont une tragédie, elles n’en attestent pas moins des efforts entrepris par les Philippines pour se préparer aux désastres naturels.

En tant qu’administratrice du programme de développement de l’ONU, j’ai pu voir de près les effets ravageurs et douloureux des catastrophes partout dans le monde. Elles ont depuis le début du siècle causé plus d’un million de victimes, disparues dans des tempêtes comme Hagupit, ou dans un tremblement de terre comme celui de Haïti en 2010 –  lequel a causé près de 2 billions de dollars de pertes économiques.

Ces pertes sont tragiques, mais elles peuvent aussi êtres évitées. Elles rappellent que la préparation aux catastrophes n’est pas un luxe en option. C’est un processus constant et permanent, nécessaire pour sauver des vies, protéger les infrastructures et préserver le développement.

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