Managing a Disaster Before it Occurs

Disaster preparedness in Pakistan has taken a step forward thanks to the number of aid workers within its borders, estimated to be roughly 250,000. The humanitarian aid has become global in scope and is a rapidly expanding, billion dollar industry that has a significant impact on the lives of millions of individuals known as the world’s most at-risk people.

With the realization that there is a need to standardize and make humanitarian assistance a professional field, some ask what is needed to make this happen. Some industry officials say a partnership would have to be developed between various organizations, academic institutions, and other training organizations and various multinational and national accreditation bodies for this professional assistance to happen at a continuing large-scale.

Also with this professionalizing of the humanitarian aid field would come a shift away from the old ways of reacting to disasters as they happen to a stance of managing risk beforehand in an attempt to cut costs to a more manageable level. To this end, courses and curriculum dealing with the training required to make this switch have to be developed.

The University of Health Sciences (UHS) and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in the UK are currently working together to come up with strategies geared toward raising awareness, in addition to providing affordable preventative solutions. They also seek to facilitate and encourage research into the area of tropical diseases to find better methods of prevention. The UHS and LSTM are looking to start a diploma in humanitarian aid at some point this year.

There has also been a call for the sharing of expertise and information learned from past disasters and the attempts to rehabilitate the regions affected. The media in Pakistan also played a crucial role in alerting and educating the public about disasters, the hazards of such, as well as transmitting any information gathered from affected areas. They also helped make discussions about being prepared for disaster and the response to such crises possible.

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