The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Singapore Red Cross Society held on Oct. 17 the Southeast Asia launch of the World Disasters Report, part of the global launch that happened across five different zones on the same day.

This is the 21st issue of the World Disaster Report. Over the past two decades, it has covered topics such as forced migration, neglected crises, public health, HIV and AIDS and urban risk.

This year, the World Disasters Report focuses on technology and the future of humanitarian action. It is written by 40 humanitarians and academics and examines the profound impact of technological innovations on humanitarian action and the resulting risks and opportunities.

The report writes: “New technologies are greatly increasing disaster-affected communities’ capacity for self-help”, but “Access to these technologies is deeply unequal. This inequality is prominent in the most disaster-prone countries around the world.”

According to the report, although the overall number of people affected by disasters decreased in 2012, the number of people affected in the poorest countries increased, with over 31.7 million people affected. They are also often the ones with the least access to technology.

The report urges the private sector, humanitarian organisations, governments and local communities to partner together to overcome these inequalities in access to technology for both populations and responders.-VNA