2020
Winner

Disaster Relief Planning Organization

Presenter: George Hajjar

Research Category: Interdisciplinary Topics, Centers and Institutes
Additional Authors: Natalie Clark, Fangzhou Yu, Qianlin Xu, Justin Chiovitti

Vulnerable communities in developing countries are forced to rely on foreign aid for recovery and relocation after natural disasters. Aid often takes days to weeks to reach the most affected communities due to response times and damaged infrastructure. These communities don’t have the resources in their local governments to create risk mitigation, and emergency response plans, and any foreign aid that is introduced doesn’t come until it is too late. The international¬†community is constantly reacting after natural disasters, once conditions are made exponentially worse, and thousands of lives have already been lost.

Our non-profit connects practitioners from around the world in architecture, planning, and emergency response consulting to apply their skill set in a new manner. Members would be teamed up with vulnerable communities to develop bottom-up emergency response plans through community engagement, that can be implemented by the local stakeholders, in turn minimizing the dependence on foreign aid. Self-sufficiency allows them to begin the response process before foreign aid has arrived. This will minimize damages and loss of life that normally occur from the unskilled labor, lack of infrastructure, and spread of disease.

Our platform empowers vulnerable communities to put together emergency response plans, while also learning the skills to create more sustainable communities going forward. Members of our non-profit will also learn new skills through working with teams from related industries and can also use this pro-bono work as a market differentiator.

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