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Areas of the world that are poor, lack a solid governmental system, or are still developing the strong, reliable infrastructure that is boasted in first world countries can be affected much more dramatically by a disaster than those first world countries. For example, the country of Myanmar (or Burma) lies on the Indian Ocean which can see its fair share of tropical cyclones. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis struck Burma and killed 130,000 people and the blame mostly fell to the government and the lack of a strong communication infrastructure to deliver warnings to the civilians (Kunreuther & Useem, 2009). It was theorized that climate change and the location of the impact were to blame instead however, in my opinion given today’s meteorologic models and warning systems that ample warning was given regardless of location, and it would seem Kunreuther and Useem (2009) agree, noting that the nearest international tropical cyclone warning system office in India functioned to its fullest. Another country that is still notably developing, Mozambique, experienced catastrophic floods in 2000 and was left floundering both literally and figuratively, without the money or the infrastructure to recover (Coppola, 2015). Having already noted that the lack of money/infrastructure poses a clear threat to human life, logically it would fall upon other countries on the international scene to help out, however in the case of Mozambique no such help arrived and hundreds of people perished (Coppola, 2015). Thus, it could be said that a second challenge faced by third world countries in times of disaster is the occasional lack of international assistance. Furthermore, all things said, one might be pressed to find an advantage that a third world country has in the aspect of disaster response and recovery. But, even given the struggles these countries can face on the international stage, global collaboration can be a huge opportunity for those countries and not only to recover or respond to the current disaster but to put into place the beginnings of a new stronger infrastructure or system (Kunreuther & Useem, 2009). To add onto that, some third world countries have taken note of ‘high probability events’ and have been able to develop  extensive and effective warning systems even in the lack of riches and infrastructure, for example Cuba, Bangladesh, and Mozambique when it comes to tropical cyclones (Kunreuther & Useem, 2009). So, while poor and developing countries do face the obvious challenges coming with lack of infrastructure and money, they are still able to take advantage of some of the opportunities presented by a blank slate.

Kunreuther, H. & Useem, M. (2009). Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response. 100-120.

Coppola, D. (2015). Introduction to International Disaster Management. 1-29. Elsevier

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