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‘When Disasters Strike’: New documentary on how humanitarian aid saves lives

06 Jan 2021


An aerial view of Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. © OCHA/Mark Garten

When natural catastrophes strike around the world, humanitarians are on the front lines to help save lives. In a new documentary series that begins airing today on PBS in the United States, humanitarians, government leaders and survivors tell their stories of determination and hope as the mechanics of disaster relief is explored.

Today’s episode focuses on the flooding and damage that followed Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in 2019. Two other films, which will air on 13 January and 20 January, focus on the long-term effects of recurrent droughts in Somalia, and the devastation left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019.

The series highlights the coordination that is essential to produce an effective humanitarian response. Among the people interviewed in today’s episode are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who discusses the challenges that humanitarian organizations face on a global scale.

Reena Ghelani, OCHA’s Director of Operations, is interviewed in the episode on Hurricane Dorian, which is scheduled to air on 20 January. More information is available in the trailer below.