Conclusion – Drawing the links: gender, disasters and development
This book has sought to draw links between the development and the disaster discourse and practice and explore what this means for ‘engendering’ disasters. While, in conceptual and theoretical terms, the development discourse appears to be more advanced than that of disasters, concepts quite new to development, such as vulnerability and risk, have a long tradition of discussion among disaster specialists. While the official development discourse, such as that presented by the World Bank, has more recently begun to treat the notion of risk as a central concern, it has not drawn on this disaster-related literature to inform its conceptualisation. Rather than help conceptualise the development discourse around risk, disasters are instead conceptualised as risk. The heightened awareness of the risk disasters pose to development arises from concerns over extreme weather hazards, said to be on the increase as a result of climate change. It also arises from an acceptance that disasters can ‘set back’ development, in particular pushing people back into poverty or leaving the poor destitute. With the creation of the HFA, the global disaster framework has recognised this link, and the formation of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) suggests recognition by key development actors such as the World Bank also. However, despite calls to ‘disaster proof’ development and the increasing commonalities of the development and disaster lexicons, ultimately, the two continue to be distinct policy and funding areas. The Millennium Development Goals highlight this separation. They also highlight how the relationship that does exist is constructed,
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