Monday, January 16, 2006

Environmental Risk: Pakistan

In the NGO security biz, there’s sometimes a tendency to focus on bullets, bombs and things that go boom. Equally important though (and sometimes even more) is an understanding of natural events such as earthquakes, weather, and other potemtial environmental threats. A case in point is the recent devastating earthquake in Pakistan. When you take into consideration the winter weather, altitude, mudslides and continuing seismic activity, that’s some pretty extreme conditions; especially for many NGOs who tend to operate in low-elevation, warmer climates. A tip of the hat to the Norwegian Refugee Council, who recognized the risk and is taking the initiative in providing mountaineering experts to train relief workers on safety issues in the earthquake struck areas. This is a very smart move in mitigating risk that benefits the entire humanitarian community.


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