Responding to earthquakes 2008: Learning from earthquake relief and recovery operations

This paper aims to provide a distillation of the learning from thirty years of humanitarian response to earthquakes. It concentrates on issues of particular relevance in earthquakes. The paper assumes that readers are already familiar with the more general lessons in the aid sector such as the key roles of needs assessment, effective coordination, accountability and consultation with the affected population.

The main intended audiences are operational decision-makers and relief programme managers working in the response to such sudden-onset natural disasters. Sadly, many of these lessons are not new.

This is a thorough rewriting of two previous briefing papers prepared for the humanitarianand development communities by ALNAP (www.alnap.org) and the ProVention Consortium (www.proventionconsortium.org). The first paper dealt with relief, and the second with recovery. This paper merges both because one of the strongest lessons emerging from recent natural disasters is that providing effective support to recovery, and not disaster relief, is the overarching challenge of responding to earthquakes.

ALNAP / ProVention Consortium

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