Older persons "suffer disproportionately" during disasters

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According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), there is strong evidence that older persons suffer disproportionately from disasters even in developed countries. Photo: COSE/Artemio Andaya

Governments around the world have been urged to help tackle the vulnerabilities of older persons in emergencies and disasters.

The call has come from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Day for Disaster Reduction which is observed annually on 13 October.

According to the United Nations, older people suffer disproportionately high levels of death and injuries in different types of emergencies and disasters, ranging from weather events and epidemics to armed conflict.

The Secretary-General said that planning for disasters must take into account the reduced mobility experienced by many older people .

He suggested that their needs must also be taken into account in early warning systems, social protection mechanisms, evacuation and emergency response plans as well as public awareness campaigns.

It is estimated that 700 million people or 10 per cent of the world's population is already over the age of 60.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'05"

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