Poverty Reduce, the Essential Issue to Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing and Poor Countries
Saadi Ghaderi1, Khalid Moin2, Amir Ali Khan 3
1Esfahan water organization/Golpayegan dam, Esfahan, Iran. E-mail: email@example.com
2Jamia Millia Islamia, Department of Civil Engineering, New Delhi, India. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi, India. rganisation/Institution, City, Country. E-mail: email@example.com,
ABSTRACT: Natural hazards have a devastating impact on the poorer section of society. The major factors influencing disaster risk are human and social vulnerability, combined with the overall capacity to respond or mitigate the impact of impending natural hazards. A challenge faced by developing and underdeveloped countries, while implementing disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes is in establishing a linkage between poverty reduction programmes and provision for safe and secure living environment. The paper will try to review the relationship between poverty reduction programmes and DRR programmes in some of the developing and underdeveloped countries. The paper will also highlight the importance of the measures to bridge the gap between poverty reduction and DRR like rural development, infrastructure development, increasing awareness, training, cooperation between regional countries, funding organizations and international institutions as essential factors to reduce poverty and natural disasters risk. Data and information will be presented in form of photographs, carts, tables etc.
Keywords: social vulnerability, developing and underdeveloped countries, disaster risk reduction
Natural disasters are a fact of life for every country, but they are especially dangerous for people in countries where people struggle to survive. It is in these poorer, third-world countries that a major natural disaster can kill thousands and threaten the livelihoods of those who survive the disaster. Natural catastrophes cause sharp increases in poverty; what is uncertain is the extent of their long-term impact on the economic viability of developing nations. People who live in poverty are very vulnerable to natural disasters and no safety bets. For example, their houses are not made of the best quality materials. Poor people in poor countries do not have insurance to rebuild their homes after disasters. Their governments do not have the resources for disaster relief. Also Poor countries have limited or no resources to deal with the post-traumatic stress those survivors may face for decades to come, especially for parents who feel guilty that their children perished.
About 95 percent of deaths caused by disasters occur in poor countries. A disaster of similar nature and size causes more deaths in poor countries than in rich ones. The World Bank estimates that more than 90 percent of the populations of Bangladesh, Nepal, the Dominican Republic, Burundi, Haiti, Taiwan, Malawi, El Salvador, and Honduras live in areas at high relative risk of death from two or more hazards. Poor governance, external sanctions, poverty, and foreign debt force peasants to burn wood and charcoal for fuel and to engage in unsustainable farming techniques which drive deforestation, the consequences of which are discussed below.
This paper reviews and synthesizes the literature on poverty and natural disasters and discusses the role of poverty on impact of natural disasters. Therefore we studied the effects of natural disasters in poor developing countries in three decades latter. The main result of these researches shows that in each instance, the poor are the most deeply affected by the disaster and are more vulnerable to natural disasters, due to such factors as low national income, inadequate amount of education, skill, experience, health, work orientation, culture of poverty discrimination, place and type of residence, building construction, and social exclusion.
2. NATURAL DISASTER IN WORLD, LOSSES AN D DAMAGES
the International Emergency Disasters Database (EMDAT) distinguishes two different types of disasters (natural and technological) divided into 15 main categories, covering more than 50 sub-categories.
For the production of the tables and figures, the natural disasters were split into 3 specific groups:
· Hydro-meteorological disasters: including floods and wave surges, storms, droughts and related disasters (extreme temperatures and forest/scrub fires), and landslides & avalanches;
· Geophysical disasters: divided into earthquakes & tsunamis and volcanic eruptions;
· Biological disasters: covering epidemics and insect infestations.
The economic cost of natural disasters has also skyrocketed, according to the International Red Cross. Direct economic losses from natural disasters multiplied five fold, to US$629 billion, from 1985-2005. And from 1999-2008, disaster estimated damage cost an average of $108 billion. Other recent statistics:
· 3,852 disasters killed more than 780,000 people over the past 10 years, affected more than 2 billion others and cost a minimum of $960 billion. (Source: CRED)
· Nine of the top 10 countries with the highest number of disaster-related deaths were in Asia.
· The deadliest disasters of the last decade were the Indian Ocean Tsunami with 226,408 fatalities in 2004 and Cyclone Nargis with 138,366 deaths in Myanmar in 2008 (Source: CRED)
· Since 1980, the World Bank has approved more than 500 operations related to disaster management, and between 1984 and 2009 the Bank has spent $52 billion in disaster-related projects.
The Red Cross warns that the frequency and cost of natural disasters will probably increase due to: Environmental, degradation, Climate change, Population growth, especially in cities and Globalization. Between January 1975 and October 2008 and excluding epidemics, the International Emergency Disasters Database EMDAT recorded 8,866 events killing 2,283,767 people. Of these, 23 mega-disasters killed 1,786,084 people, mainly in developing countries. During the decade of the 1990’s, the number of catastrophes has increased five-fold, and the damages have increased by a factor of nine, contrasted to the decade of the 1960’s (Munich Re, 1999). During the decade of 1987-1997, the total direct economic loss from natural catastrophes was 700 billion USD, for an average loss of 70 billion USD.
table 1: Natural disasters for the decade: 2000-2009.
The annual average death toll for the 2000 decade was 78,000, which is considerably higher than the 43,000 of the previous decade (1990s). But in the 1980s, the annual average of persons killed was almost as high with 75,000 owing to two major droughts and famines in Ethiopia and Sudan. The average number of natural hazard events per annum in 2000-2009 was 385 compared to the annual average of 258 for the decade 1990-1999 and 165 for the decade 1980-1989. Earthquakes are the deadliest natural hazard of the past ten years and remain a serious threat for millions of people worldwide as eight out of the ten most populous cities in the world are on earthquake fault-lines. In the past decade, nearly 60 percent of the people killed by disasters died because of Earthquakes. After earthquakes, storms (22%) and extreme temperatures (11%) were the most deadly disasters between 2000 and 2009.
Fig. 2: Type of disasters and region are effected(2000-2009).
3. Natural Disasters, Developing and Poor Countries
Many poor people, especially in developing countries, depend on natural resources for their social and economic wellbeing. These are commonly the rural population, and their poverty may be defined from different aspects. Resources such as agriculture, water, fisheries, or forestry generate income or secure livelihoods to the poor. If these resources deteriorate through pollution or overuse, the benefits for the poor decrease. Droughts and other climatic hazards have the potential to disrupt people’s lives, leading to losses of income, assets and opportunities. In 1998, 90% of the victims of natural disasters lived in LDCs; over half of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) borrowers are exposed to natural disasters on a recurring basis, and there is a high statistical correlation between Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and the annual number of so-called “natural” disasters.
Disaster risk is also concentrated in Asia where the poor are concentrated on the most marginal lands vulnerable to drought, flood, and other natural hazards. And the poor, through ignorance and desperation, can contribute to their own downfall by deforesting hillsides or over –cultivating farmland. This leads to new cycles of flood, drought or landslides.
At least 900 million people now live in informal settlements in developing country cities. Many of these are in hazard prone areas. Urban hazards, such as flooding, are exacerbated by lack of investment in infrastructure. Poor people suffer worst from natural disasters. In rich countries, the average number of deaths per disaster is 23, while in the poorest the average is 1,052. When the Hanshin earthquake struck Japan in 1995, it claimed the lives of some 6,000 people. But in 2005, the Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan, measuring about the same on the Richter scale, claimed 75,000 lives – 12 times as many – despite the fact that the earthquake affected areas with much lower levels of population density.
Compare the Impacts of Natural Disasters shows that in poor and developing countriesand due to setbackes to economic and social development and lacke resources for early warning systems, are more vulnerable to impact of natural disasters(Table 1). Foreign debt also limits the amount of revenue available for public services such as disaster warning systems or response plans.
Table 2: compare the impact of natural disasters in developing and Industrialized Countries.
Tend to suffer higher economic losses in strict dollars terms
Cause setbacks to economic and social development
Have mechanisms in place to avoid loss of life, such as early warning systems
Lack resources for early warning systems
Have immediate emergency and medical care
Inflict massive casualties
Insure against property losses
Divert funds from development programs to emergency relief and recovery
To reduce the impact from natural disasters in developing countries, these countries will need economic resources and organizational support to implement any plans or projects that they undertake, knowledge of how to make their populace safer, and early warning of any natural disasters or potential hazards that may result from those natural disasters.
Risk transfer provides a safety net for economic loss to property and provides resources to rebuild. Generally, rebuilding means restoring the damaged property. Risk transfer for natural disasters in the developed world is primarily directed at transferring the risk of damage to private real property to the insurance industry.. In the developing world, with its high concentration of publicly owned infrastructure, an equivalent problem is the vulnerability of infrastructure to the sudden impact of major natural catastrophes.
Knowing these risk factors means governments can better plan how to protect people and develop their economies more safely. “Development needs to be regulated in terms of its impact on disaster risk. Due to armed conflict and weak food distribution networks, The other challenges in poor developing and countries
It wasn’t the weather that turned drought into famine in the Congo, Kenya and Sudan. It was armed conflict and weak food distribution networks. And in China, the government faces accusations that the Sichuan earthquake could only collapse many schools because of corrupt builders and officials.
In stark contrast, no child has died in a Californian school during an earthquake since 1933. Similarly, earthquakes in Japan kill fewer people than in developing countries thanks to “better enforcement of building codes, better emergency response, and the generally high level of preparedness,” says the Disaster Risks Hotspots report.
Although major natural disasters like earthquake, flood and storm occur in everywhere of the world, but mainly occurred in communities where high levels of poverty, and these events conversion into human and environment catastrophe. Human casualties resulting from crises within countries and internationally show that in crisis, mainly the poorest members of society are suffering the most casualties. According to UN statistics, the chance of killing people in developing and poor countries than rich countries against crisis is 4. Earthquake Haiti another example of such a relationship is confirmed. In Haiti, in fact, more than 200 thousand killed and two million homeless not victims of the earthquake but victims the poverty. although, most people know the apparent reason of killing people is lack of unsafe buildings, but the main reason of that is poverty. While each region in the Periphery or Semi-Periphery-from Sri Lanka to India to Bolivia-may experience unique environmental problems, poverty caused by an unjust international politico-economic regime is a persistent factor that aggravates prevention and recovery efforts. It also ensures that, in each instance, the poor are the most deeply affected by the disaster. To reduce the impact from natural disasters in developing countries, these countries will need economic resources and organizational support to implement any plans or projects that they undertake, knowledge of how to make their populace safer, and early warning of any natural disasters or potential hazards that may result from those natural disasters. Developing country governments including Iran and India should further develop and implement a national adaptation strategy, which is properly mainstreamed across the government’s programmes for eradicating poverty, and adopted by and co-ordinated across all the key ministries. Disaster Risk Reduction needs to be part of long term planning at all levels of government, across all ministries, and particularly at the departmental and municipal level. Disaster preparedness has to be stepped up. Infrastructure development, increasing awareness, training, cooperation between regional countries, funding organizations and international institutions as essential factors to reduce poverty and natural disasters risk. Also Scientific research programs on climate change, its impacts on natural resources, Improvement of the data collection system and analysis, Enhancing of the system of forecasting, modeling and early warning on natural disasters, Building institutional and technical capacity on adaptation issues is recommended.
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