Perspectives from Africa,
engagement from Finland

Understanding Africa

Representing Africans


Fireworks at Kansalaistori Square, Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

Fireworks in Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

An app about causes and consequences

The visual approach of the app, with its many photographs, gives users a real sense of the dangers, and causes people to really think about the risks involved

Developed by the Finnish Red Cross, the Risk Zones application uses photos, videos, stories and graphics to show how people can minimise risks, prepare for and survive disasters. The app is intended for anyone who is interested in development aid and disaster relief. It is also an informative teaching aid for use in schools. The app provides fascinating insights into the world of development aid and humanitarian work. The first version of the app considers eight possible risks: earthquake, drought, flood, typhoon, conflict, HIV and AIDS, malaria, and cholera.

Risk Zones is available for free download in Finnish, Swedish and English and is part of a Red Cross campaign, which has been highlighting the link between sustainable development and disasters. Unless we can control the impact that disasters have on the lives of vulnerable people, it may become impossible to reduce levels of poverty.

When any risk of disaster is realised, it can quickly escalate. Drought, for instance, can cause people to become refugees or result in conflict. One consequence of flooding is poor hygiene, which can cause an epidemic of communicable diseases and potentially kill thousands of people.