UN launches survey on older people and disasters

The former Japanese politician Akiko Domoto was two weeks shy of her 82nd birthday when she spoke on behalf of Women's Groups at last month's Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva. She is accompanied here by Sam Johnson from New Zealand who spoke on behalf of Youth. Sam will be one of the two billion people over 60 by the year 2050. (Photo: UNISDR/Denis McClean)
 

GENEVA, 22 August 2014 – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in partnership with Help Age International, today launched a survey to solicit the views of older people on how they cope with disasters. A matching attitudes survey targeting governments and other agencies on the inclusion of older people in disaster management planning has also been placed online.

Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR Head, said: “This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction on October 13 will focus on older people, including their needs and what they contribute to better planning and understanding of disaster risk in their communities. We know from grim experience in both developed and developing countries that older persons often die in disproportionate numbers in disaster events.”

A recent survey carried out by Help Age International and the Coalition of Services of the Elderly following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines found that 27% of older people received no shelter assistance with single women aged 80 years or more, the most excluded group. Large percentages of older people also struggled to meet other needs such as food and medicine.

This is the fourth year of UNISDR’s Step Up Campaign which has previously focused on children, women and girls, and the disabled.

The surveys are available in English, French and Spanish and can be accessed here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OlderPersonsIDDR14
https://fr.surveymonkey.com/s/OlderPersonsFrench
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OlderPersonsSpanish

The following are the links to the perceptions survey for governments and other disaster management actors:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PerceptionsIDDR14
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PerceptionsFrench
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PerceptionsSpanish

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