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Mitigating disasters — a promising start

A ten-year United Nations plan to make the world safer from natural disasters went into effect in 2005. With 2015 nearing, countries are now assessing how well it has worked. The Hyogo Framework for Action spelled out what all countries had to do over the following ten years to make disasters less disastrous. This review finds that signing on to the Hyogo process is one thing, but there is not much evidence of the framework making the world a safer place. Since the advent of the framework some of the most devastating disasters have occurred and disasters have become more frequent, hovering now at around 1000 a year. The paper argues that although the reason for this is not clear, climate change is often blamed. Disasters are also becoming more catastrophic, as population growth makes increasing numbers of people vulnerable to the impact of disasters. The paper concludes that the future of the Hyogo framework is not clear, but it will be on the agenda of upcoming discussions.