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An emergency is an event that can be responded to using the resources available at hand, implying that there is no need to request external assistance. A disaster, on the other hand, is characterized by impacts that overwhelm the capacities of local responders and place demands on resources which are not available locally.
Hence, an event is declared as a “disaster” when there is a need for external assistance to cope with its impacts. When an emergency or a disaster affect a city or a region, efforts are conducted initially to care for the wounded, to restore lifelines and basic services, and subsequently to restore livelihoods and to reconstruct communities. At UNRS, our first point of effort is to work in line with the recommended United Nations provision of emergency and disaster management. Recognizing the need to contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts, all response efforts on behalf of the United Nations are coordinated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.