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Gov't attempts to protect the vulnerable during natural disasters

Published:Sunday | July 12, 2015 | 7:07 AM
This house in Mt Lebanus in St Thomas was damaged during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and again by Hurricane Dennis the following year

The Government is taking steps to ensure that vulnerable groups such as women, young girls and the disabled are protected and cared for during natural disasters.

That is according to the manager of the Population and Health Unit at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Toni-Shae Freckleton, who says global disaster and gender statistics show that women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men following a disaster.

Freckleton adds that the statistics show that women are more likely to be victims of domestic and sexual violence following a disaster as well.

Noting that Jamaica, because of its location, is exposed to natural disasters, Freckleton says the needs of vulnerable groups are different during an emergency and gave the assurance that work was being done to ensure that the country is prepared to meet those needs.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management says 31 per cent of the 947 communities across the island are classified as highly vulnerable.