RealNews

Red Cross: Hotspots Overshadow Disasters

Too many humanitarian crises are forgotten as world attention focuses on headline-grabbing emergencies in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots, the Red Cross said Thursday. The World Disasters Report, issued annually by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said 24,500 people died in natural and man-made catastrophes, ranging from earthquakes to plane crashes, in 2002. The figure does not include war. Amid these deaths, the 239-page study said international aid made a general shift toward “high profile aid efforts in politically strategic conflicts,” mostly linked to the U.S.-led war on terror. Aid to Afghanistan, for example, tripled after the Sept. 11 attacks even though the humanitarian needs were unchanged. Meanwhile, suffering countries like Angola, Somalia and Congo have been all but ignored, the report said. Full Story

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