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International Disaster Database, Europe

EM-DAT was created in Europe – Brussels, with the initial support of the WHO and the Belgian Government.Its main objectives are to assist humanitarian action at both national and international levels; to rationalize decision-making for disaster preparedness; and to provide an objective basis for vulnerability assessment and priority setting.

EM-DAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 18,000 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to present. The database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies.

Development and relief agencies have long recognized the important role played by data and information in mitigating the impacts of disasters on vulnerable populations. Systematic collection and analysis of these data provides invaluable information to governments and agencies in charge of relief and recovery activities. It also aids the integration of health components into development and poverty alleviation programmes.

EM-DAT provides and objective basis for vulnerability assessment and rational decision-making in disaster situations. For example, it helps policymakers identify disaster types that are most common in a given country and have had significant historical impacts on specific human populations.

http://www.emdat.be

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