Between 2001 and 2019, emergency crises in the UNECE region affected an estimated 130 million people, injuring over 90 million, and making nearly 674,000 people homeless. Though generally disproportionately impacted by emergency crises, older men and women are often neglected in disaster risk reduction strategies and emergency responses. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of older persons carrying the burden of severe illness and mortality as well as of acute loneliness and isolation. As of September 2020, nearly 9 out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths reported in the UNECE region have been among adults aged 65 years and older. Disaster risk reduction and preparedness plans need to be “older persons friendly and inclusive” to prevent and mitigate the UNECE | Standing Working Group on Ageing | www.unece.org/population | [email protected] UNECE Policy Brief on Ageing No. 25 November 2020 potentially devastating implications of emergency crises among them. The challenge is not only to protect older persons and ensure essential services provide for their needs, as part of the emergency response and recovery after crises, it is also to account for the diversity of this population group, recognize their capacities and harness their experience to maximize the preparedness for and minimize the impact of emergencies.

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  • Published online: 22 Jun 2021
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