In all crises, whether natural disasters, epidemics or conflicts, you need the workers. Better first responder training and equipment help reduce deaths and injuries among community members and among workers.
But our concerns and our voices are barely reflected in the proceedings at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction – WCDRR. Why? Possibly because having first responders costs money: wages must be paid, training and equipment provided. Governments don’t want to be told they have to spend this money. And, since the financial crisis of 2008, no government wants to borrow; austerity is the dominant policy.