Climate-related and geophysical disasters between 1998 and 2017 led to the deaths of: “1.3 million people and left a further 4.4 billion injured, homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance. While the majority of fatalities were due to geophysical events, mostly earthquakes and tsunamis, 91% of all disasters were caused by floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves, and other extreme weather events” (UNISDR, 2018: 3). Although deaths from the direct impact of disasters (aka direct disaster deaths) are recorded by the major databases, indirect disaster deaths and missing persons are currently not recorded. Also, the voices of the survivors and the circumstances under which disaster deaths occur are currently lacking. The purpose of this global campaign is fourfold:
– to raise the visibility of disaster deaths, especially indirect disaster deaths and missing persons and capture their impact on people’s lives and livelihoods;
-to capture the ‘causes and circumstances’ that lead to disaster deaths so that context-specific interventions can be put in place to save lives;
-to promote the slogan ‘Disaster Deaths Are Avoidable’. They are avoidable by putting preventable, amenable and risk governance measures in place; and
-to reduce the actual number of deaths from disasters, value the number of lives saved and the saved lives.