The growing number of disasters requiring external assistance has prompted now interest in collaborative ventures, better donor co-ordination and a more rational approach to response. Increasingly, the emphasis is on preparedness and a "pro-active" response to replace ad hoc reactive approach of the past. Facilitating the exchange of information during disasters and in preparing for disasters is critical to the success of the international partnership and has been one of the goals of recent international workshops.
At a very fundamental level, knowledge of the vulnerability of developing countries to different types of disasters is necessary for the most effective relief and preparedness planning. The usefulness of a disaster events database as a tool in this planning has become increasingly evident to many government and international agencies engaged in disaster relief as well as in mitigation and prevention programmes.
In response to the need for better data on disaster occurrence, a number of databases have been established around the world, with different criteria, formats and purpose. These databases, while individually useful, have been generally limited in scope and have not been compatible with other existing databases. Inconsistencies, data gaps and ambiguity of terminology make comparisons and use of the different data sets difficult. This had let to a fair amount of confusion in the perception and evaluation of a disaster situation and poses a severe obstacle for planning and fund raising.
On the other hand, establishing a central database on all disaster events occurring in the world is an effort, which requires first of all, the data items to be included in the register. To be workable, these definitions have to be kept simple and concrete to allow easy collection of these data by field assessment teams. Standard procedures for the collection and reporting of these data also have to be worked out between all participants to this effort. In order to remain a manageable enterprise, the scope of this central database has to be limited only to essential data and agency specific information may be maintained as supplement to this core database.
Since 1988 the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has been maintaining an Emergency Events Database - EM-DAT. EM-DAT was created with the initial support of the WHO and the Belgian Government.
The main objective of the database is to serve the purposes of humanitarian action at national and international levels. It is an initiative aimed to rationalise decision making for disaster preparedness, as well as providing an objective base for vulnerability assessment and priority setting. For example, it allows on to decide whether floods in a given country are more significant in terms of its human impact than earthquakes or whether a country is more vulnerable than another for computing resources is.
EMDAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 12,500 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.
Number of Droughts
GEO Data Category:
Disasters, accidents, risk, safety
Disasters, droughts, total number, subregional level
Jaap Van Woerden
11, chemin des Anemones
+41 22 917 82 94
+41 22 917 80 29
As of Dec 2001
11, Chemin des Anemones
+41 22 917 82 94
+41 22 917 80 29
GIS Data Info
Statistics Data Info
The data is aggregated at subregional, regional and global level.
Data with zero ("0") value are related to absence of reported accidents.
Calculated pre 1991-1992 relative country share
Former Yugoslavia SFR:
Killed: Persons confirmed as dead and persons missing and presumed dead (10 or more people
Affected: People requiring immediate assistance during a period of emergency ; it can also be
displaced or evacuated people (100 or more people affected/injured/homeless).
Injured: The number of injured is entered when the term "injured" is written in the source. Injured
people are always part of the affected population. Any related word like "hospitalized" is considered as
injured. If there is no precise number like "hundreds of injured", 200 injured will be entered (although it
is probably underestimated).
Homeless: They are always part of the affected population. Reporting from the field should give the
number of individuals that are homeless; if only the number of families or houses is reported, the
figure is multiplied by the average family size for the affected area (x5 for the developing countries, x3
for the industrialised countries, according to UNDP country list).
Copyright c 2001 (Aggregations) United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva.
Data aggregation made by Andrea DeBono and Ola Nordbeck (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva).