Disasters: There Must Be a Better Way

With famine, floods and refugees demanding attention, providers of emergency aid think the time is ripe for change

$ A few days after the latest cyclone ravaged Bangladesh, Mother Teresa arrived from Calcutta with 1,600 lbs. of relief supplies. It took a day for officials in Dhaka to decide how to deal with her. Since the Nobel Peace laureate had flown in on a commercial flight, some officials argued that the materials needed to go through customs. About a month earlier, when Iraqi Kurds began fleeing en masse from Saddam Hussein's soldiers, the Iranian army struggled to cope with thousands of dying children. They were treated with antibiotics instead of rehydration salts, a more effective means of staving off...

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