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     Mar 12, '14

Rethinking US disaster relief in Asia
By Foreign Policy In Focus contributors

March 11 marked the third anniversary of the earthquake that shook northeastern Japan in 2011 and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 16,000 people and caused the worst nuclear accident in history. The earthquake was one of several massive disasters in the Asia-Pacific this past decade. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami took the lives of 230,000 people in 14 countries. Most recently, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ripped through Samar

and Leyte in the Philippines, causing 6,000 deaths last November. The Philippines has witnessed several other devastating typhoons, including Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009 and Bopha (Pablo) in 2012.

A rising pattern of intense storms and disasters in the Asia-Pacific region has led to the death and displacement of thousands of people and the destruction of essential urban and rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, health centers, and workplaces.

Paralleling these disasters has been the disaster response of the US military. According to this “disaster militarism” - which is a pattern of rhetoric, beliefs, and practices - the military should be the primary responder to large-scale disasters. The model must give way to a response that favors human security. More ...

The authors, Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ayano Ginoza, Michiko Hase, Gwyn Kirk, Deborah Lee and Taeva Shefler, are members of Women for Genuine Security and contributors to Foreign Policy In Focus.

(Posted with permission Foreign Policy in Focus)




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