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'Risk reduction is vital - prevention is cheaper than cure' - EC

Source(s):  New Europe - Media Company S.A., Brussels News Agency, the (NE)

Concerned by the rising costs of natural hazards, the United Nations is gathering world leaders and leading professionals for a conference in Geneva this week to examine how disaster risk reduction can be part of a preventative strategy, reports Brussels News Agency.

Martijn Quinn, from the cabinet of the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response’s cabinet, pointed out the benefits of risk reduction. “Every euro invested in disaster risk reduction gives a return of between €4 and €7,” he said, explaining that in the case of the recent disaster in Japan, extensive preparation and planning meant that the damage was comparatively mild.

“Europe is disaster prone" stressed Quinn, adding that, “Between 1999 and 2009, 100,000 people died as a result of natural catastophes and the total cost of responding to the disasters was €150 billion over the same period.” He emphasized the importance of insurance industry's role in evaluating risk, “You have to understand risk in order to manage it” he said.

  • Publication date 08 May 2011

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