Katastrophen und Entwicklung

NEW YORK – Als der Taifun Hagupit am 6. Dezember die Philippinen erreichte, waren im Geist der Menschen die Erinnerungen an den Taifun Haiyan, dem über 6.300 Menschen zum Opfer fielen, noch sehr lebendig. Laut den Vereinten Nationen wurden vor der Ankunft von Hagupit etwa 227.000 Familien evakuiert – über eine Million Menschen. Der Taifun, der einer der stärksten der Saison war, tötete etwa dreißig Menschen. Bei Naturkatastrophen ist jedes einzelne Todesopfer eine Tragödie, aber die Tatsache, dass diese Zahl nicht viel höher war, spricht für den Erfolg der Philippinen bei der Vorsorge gegen Naturkatastrophen.

Als Administratorin des Entwicklungsprogramms der Vereinten Nationen habe ich die Zerstörungen und das Leid durch Katastrophen rund um den Globus aus erster Hand erfahren. Seit Beginn dieses Jahrhunderts sind Stürmen wie Hagupit und anderen großen Naturkatastrophen über eine Million Menschen zum Opfer gefallen. Ein Beispiel dafür ist das Erdbeben in Haiti, dessen wirtschaftlicher Schaden im Jahr 2010 fast zwei Billionen US-Dollar betrug.

Diese Verluste sind tragisch, aber vermeidbar. Sie erinnern uns daran, dass die Vorbereitung auf Naturkatastrophen kein optionaler Luxus ist, sondern ein ständiger, intensiver Prozess, der nötig ist, um Leben zu retten, Infrastruktur zu schützen und weitere Entwicklung möglich zu machen.

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