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Forum: Social security in emergency situations

In 2017 the American Hemisphere was afflicted by various natural catastrophes. As a result, several countries have been severely affected. Twenty-seven of the thirty-seven nations that make up CISS issued emergency declarations. Authorities and society in general in these countries are working on attending to the affected populations and reconstructing the lost infrastructure.

Emergency situations caused by nature or humans are recurring and impact directly on people, disrupting peace and social order, and often significantly altering the cycle of production and supply. The estimated human casualties associated to these events in the past 35 years amount to 1.7 million deaths, and the costs of the damage amount to $4.2 trillion dollars, which is equivalent to 5% of the total value of global production.

The countries and regions that are exposed to risks and emergencies are affected depending on their level of development in material, financial and environmental terms. It is the same with people and communities: they experience the effects differently depending on their settlement level and socio-economic strength, although there is also impact of the presence or absence of preventive measures and the integrity and soundness of policies, standards and measures of risk and emergency care.

In times of emergency, society turns to governments, institutions and programs, expecting a response that matches the circumstances before, during and after the emergency, mitigating the distress and uncertainty experienced by people and restoring the normal economic activities and work.

In this context, social security and protection institutions can and must play a key role in the prevention, care, containment and recovery strategies for emergency situations. Some of the most relevant areas that must be addressed include public health, medical infrastructure, and measures to mitigate loss of income and restore normal employment.