Date of this Version
Published in Planning for Drought: Toward a Reduction of Societal Vulnerability, edited by Donald A. Wilhite and William E. Easterling with Deborah A. Wood, pp. 425–444
During the twentieth century, governments have typically responded to drought by providing emergency, short-term, and long-term assistance to distressed areas. Emergency and short-term assistance programs are often reactive, a kind of "band-aid" approach to more serious land and water management problems (Rosenberg, 1980; Hamer, 1985; Wilhite, et al., 1986). Actions of this type have long been criticized as inefficient and ineffective by the scientific community and government officials, as well as by recipients of relief. Long-term assistance programs are far fewer in number, but they are proactive. They attempt to lessen a region's vulnerability to drought through improved management and planning.