Recovery refers to those programmes which go beyond the provision of immediate relief to assist those who have suffered the full impact of a disaster to rebuild their homes, lives and services and to strengthen their capacity to cope with future disasters.
Following a disaster, life-saving assistance is the most urgent need. The rapid provision of food, water, shelter and medical care is vital to prevent further loss of life and alleviate suffering. However, practical experience, backed by research, supports the view that even at this stage, relief must be conducted with a thought to the affected community’s longer-term benefit and certainly should not be prejudicial to it. And as people begin to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives, aid agencies need to help them to strengthen their resilience to future hazards. Just restoring the pre-disaster status quo may inadvertently perpetuate vulnerability. Likewise, development programmes need to take into account existing risks and susceptibility to hazards and to incorporate elements to reduce them. The two approaches are interdependent, complementary and mutually supportive. - IFRC