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Protecting and assisting older people in emergencies

WELLS, Jo
December 2005

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The rapid increase in the older population worldwide poses new challenges, particularly in resource poor countries and in emergency settings. Older people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disaster or conflict and less able to adapt to sudden disruptions in their lives. They can also make crucial contributions to their communities, caring for orphans, providing inter-generational support, helping resolve conflicts, offering their knowledge on alternative and traditional healing practices. This document looks in some detail at both the needs and strengths of the elderly in emergencies and calls for greater promotion of the rights of older people, their inclusion in all stages of humanitarian interventions, mainstreaming and allocation of adequate resources for older people's protection

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