Some two-thirds of older people live in developing countries , where disasters are more likely to occur and the humanitarian impact is greater. The increasing number of disasters in middle income countries, where life expectancy is longer than in low income countries, increases the number of older people at risk. Each year, an estimated 26 million older people are affected by natural disasters alone.
The humanitarian system is set up to deliver one-size-fits-all responses that fail to identify and address the specific needs of marginalised groups, including older people. Demographic change, the disproportionate impact of disasters on older people, and the current levels of their exclusion from responses, all demand that reforms are made to the way humanitarian assistance activities are delivered.