Hazards in Developing Countries: Cause for Global Concern
A flourishing literature on hazards, risks and disasters threatens to overwhelm the most assiduous of bibliographers. Emanating as it does from an impressively diverse array of disciplines, quasi disciplines and professions, this staggering body of research courts the likes of an ‘annual review’ that will take critical stock of prevailing strengths and deficiencies. One would expect an interdisciplinary state-of-the-art assessment to recognize and redress the relative dearth of attention to the developing countries, which, after all, bear a disproportionate brunt of the harmful consequences of hazardous events, activities and processes. Quarantelli (1988) suggests that 70 to 85 per cent of all disasters occur in the developing world. Even cursory looks at statistical compilations (OFDA, 1988; UNDRO, 1988) bear out his observation. A major report on natural hazards (USNRC, 1987) pinpoints the ‘double blow’ – of high death tolls and economic losses – that falls on developing countries.