|Natural Disasters and Vulnerability Analysis (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office, 1979, 53 p.)|
The United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator, Mr. Faruk N. Berkol, convened an Expert Group Meeting on Vulnerability Analysis which was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 9 to 12 July 1979. The meeting was attended by specially invited experts, by representatives of U.N. Agencies and other organizations concerned with natural disasters, and by staff of the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO). The Agenda for the meeting is given in Annex I and a list of participants is given in Annex II.
Opening the meeting, the Co-ordinator welcomed the participants and stressed the fundamental importance of applying vulnerability analysis prior to the development of any locality, country or region in which natural hazards pose a threat to human life property. The subject should be of major concern not only to UNDRO but to everyone involved in planning and development in areas prone to natural disasters. The Co-ordinator described the functions of his Office in regard to disaster relief co-ordination, disaster preparedness and disaster prevention as conferred by the United Nations General Assembly. The Co-ordinator expressed the firm conviction that all activities related to pre-disaster planning should be based on a sound knowledge and understanding of the hazards and risks involved. He explained that as a result of the study of the problems caused by natural disasters, new methods and techniques for investigating vulnerability were constantly being developed, and that it was essential that these should be readily applicable in disaster-prone developing countries. For such countries the aim should be to establish reliable and straight-forward techniques to assess vulnerability at all scales, from the national level to the individual site. The Co-ordinator gave this as the theme of the meeting.
The Director of UNDROs Relief Co-ordination Preparedness and Prevention Division summarized the main points to be considered by the meeting as follows:
· Definitions and concepts in risk management;
· Means of improving the understanding and co-operation among scientists, planners and administrators;
· The further development of techniques in vulnerability analysis and risk management.