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FOCUS June 2023 Volume 112

Disaster, Displacement, Discrimination


Serious damage caused by disasters extends to post-disaster situation. Disaster-caused displacement may turn into a long period of deprivation exacerbated by discrimination.

Disaster-prone countries may have policies, programs, facilities and goods that are meant to protect people from the debilitating effects of disasters. They may have preventive measures such as relocation to temporary shelters. They may have post-disaster measures that ensure support for the internally displaced persons.

But restrictions in availing such governmental disaster-response resources may amount to discrimination. This can happen when support for the internally-displaced persons is practically meant for those who return to the area of the disaster and thus exclude those who stay in other places on their own.

Restrictions in availing such governmental disaster-response resources may also be in the form of lack of proper coordination at the field level between national and local governments that eventually gives rise to discrimination against internally displaced persons.

This situation becomes more oppressive when displaced disadvantaged groups are left out of the disaster-response measures in one form or another.