Desastre y desarrollo

NUEVA YORK – Cuando el Tifón Hagupit tocó tierra en Filipinas el 6 de diciembre, estaban frescas en el recuerdo las más de 6.300 mil muertes que causara el Tifón Haiyán. Según las Naciones Unidas, cerca de 227.000 familias (más de un millón de personas) fueron evacuadas. El tifón, uno de los más fuertes de la temporada, causó unas 30 víctimas. Todas las muertes por desastres son una tragedia, pero el hecho de que este número no fuese mucho mayor da cuenta del nivel de preparación que Filipinas ha alcanzado para los desastres naturales.

Como Administradora del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, he visto de primera mano la devastación y los daños emocionales provocados por desastres acaecidos en todo el mundo. Desde principios de siglo, más de un millón de personas han muerto en tormentas como Hagupit y otros desastres de envergadura, como el terremoto de Haití en 2010, con un daño económico total de cerca de $2 billones.

Son pérdidas trágicas, pero también evitables, y sirven de recordatorio de que estar preparados para un desastre no es un lujo opcional sino un proceso constante e intenso, y necesario para salvar vidas, proteger infraestructura y salvaguardar el desarrollo.

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