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    280139

    One world, one response-needed, but not yet forthcoming [editorial]

    Lancet. 2005 Jan 8; 365:95-96.

    Introducing a series on complex emergencies in The Lancet less than two months ago, we noted that Jan Egeland, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator on disaster reduction, was frustrated by the lack of attention being given to natural disasters by the international community. Now no longer, one presumes. The devastation wreaked by the south- Asian tsunami that struck on Dec 26, 2004, has kick-started an unprecedented global response. Unqualified human empathy has been translated into unrestrained public acts of giving and helping that have caught more cautious politicians unprepared. There are huge lessons here for all heads of state to learn, not least the need for a massive overhaul in the way nations respond to episodes of humanitarian crisis. In addition to those who have died, the numbers of people at risk of disease defy comprehension. WHO estimates that 5 million people are presently without access to basic services. Over 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. And 15 million children are either orphaned or separated from their families. (excerpt)
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