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Speaking up on silent disasters

Speaking up on silent disasters © EU
18/02/2013  - 

Many of the disasters and emergencies where people die and suffer go underreported and end up forgotten. To raise awareness about these silent disasters – which are not silent to the hundreds of thousands of people they affect - today the European Commission is launching a campaign together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). The two have a long-lasting partnership in helping the victims of disasters around the world.

"Small-scale disasters may not reach our TV screens, but they still cast painful blows to millions of people every year, destroying their homes and livelihoods," said EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. "Working together - the European Commission, IFRC and European Red Cross National Societies – we bring relief to people facing silent disasters. We do hear their voices and they do hear our message – that thanks to the solidarity of Europeans, we can offer them a bridge to hope and a chance for a better future."

As part of the 4-week long awareness campaign in 11 European countries, the IFRC, the Commission and the Red Cross will draw public attention to various silent disasters around the world. Disasters such as widespread hunger in Southern Africa, a devastating earthquake in Tajikistan, and multiple disease outbreaks in Uganda will be highlighted and illustrated in a 50-second film spot in European cinemas and on television as well as on websites, social media and in print.

The official launch of the Silent Disasters Campaign takes place at the European Parliament in Brussels today, with participation from the European Parliament, European Commission, European governments, humanitarian organisations and journalists.

For further information about the campaign, visit www.ifrc.org/silentdisasters.