NO ACCIDENT- Resilience and the inequality of risk

Around the world, poor women and men face a relentless series ofshocks and stresses. Inequality, in all its ugly guises, is what turnsrisk from these shocks and stresses into a rising tide of avoidablesuffering, and drives millions of people deeper into crisis andpoverty. Systemic shocks, such as food price hikes and „natural‟ disasters,and long-term stresses like climate change, environmentaldegradation and protracted conflicts, undermine individuals‟ abilityto cope. And these are on the rise. Since 1970, the number ofpeople exposed to floods and tropical cyclones has doubled.1 Thelatest climate science indicates that global warming far beyond 2ºCis increasingly likely, and that even a 2ºC warming will have farworse consequences than expected just a few years ago.2 In thepast few years, volatility in food and commodity prices hasreturned, and more than 1.5 billion people now live in countries thatface repeated cycles of violence. The impact of these increasing systemic shocks exacerbate thelife-cycle shocks to income felt at household level – such aswidowhood, childbirth, and unexpected illness – which hit womenthe hardest. 

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