Why Building Back Better Means More than Structural Safety
affected number from the EM-DAT database includes injured and homeless
Although the overall figures provide a persuasive argument for questioning the dominance of structural safety as the central focus of post-disaster reconstruction, closer examination suggests that a contextual nuance is needed. The figures show that rebuilding houses that are strong and safe in an earthquake-prone region is more important than storm-proof housing in the Philippines or the Caribbean. This should come as no surprise: earthquakes happen without warning and with catastrophic
measures to minimise its adverse consequences’. The long-term, structural backdrop of the DPRK’s post-famine humanitarian need is not compatible with understandings of humanitarian emergencies. Instead, there is a situation of protracted humanitarian need underpinned not by armed conflict, as in some other contexts, but by political choices.
The DPRK’s Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), comprised of UN and other resident humanitarian agencies, releases an annual ‘Needs and Priorities’ document. While the data and methodology behind the figures in the document are subject