In 1988, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) launched the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT). EM-DAT was created with the initial support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Belgian Government. The main objective of the database is to serve the purposes of humanitarian action at national and international levels. The initiative aims to rationalise decision making for disaster preparedness, as well as provide an objective base for vulnerability assessment and priority setting. EM-DAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 22,000 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to the present day. The database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies.
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