As world population increases, disasters, both natural and man-made, show a correspondingly greater toll of human lives. Existing rescue services are inadequate with regard to major disasters. They are unable to centralize and secure the relevant expertise and to control all rescue operations involving the movement of men, materials and messages within the disaster area. Immediately after the disaster strikes, the problem of the logistic mobilization of resources and coordination of rescue, first aid and relief work emerges as a first priority. Associated with this activity may be the prevention of secondary effects such as flood, fire or explosion which are also liable to trap and kill people. Lack of coordination in relief operations has a detrimental effect on longer term reconstruction. Misdirected relief operations may also deter the less skilled yet able-bodied from participating in reconstruction. Unless there is adequate planning in the situating of relief stores, camps and emergency housing, they may be placed in areas essential for early reconstruction or in areas liable to flooding or difficult to service with water and sewage disposal.
Logistics often present the most serious obstacle to quick assistance. Many developing countries have poor land communication to isolated areas and lack the resources to hold sufficient vehicles and aircraft in readiness for emergency use. International assistance is often hampered by lack of reliable and rapid assessment of needs, resulting in inappropriate or obsolete relief supplies. The use of foreign assistance may be very seriously delayed or rendered impossible by political sensitivity to over-flying and landing arrangements for military aircraft or providing visas for the movement of foreigners within the frontiers of a State.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.