Natural disasters ‘making poor poorer’ warn ODI is the heading for an article about a new report issued by the Overseas Development Institute. The data and the graphics in the report are quite sobering. Some excerpts for the article:
The ODI has revealed 319 million poor people will be living in the countries most exposed to natural disasters by 2030.
Natural disasters in some of the poorest parts of the world pose a terminal threat to success in the global battle against poverty, says a new report.
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) research, costing around £60,000, estimates that around a third of a billion extremely poor people will be living in countries highly exposed to natural hazards such as drought and flooding by 2030.
… the lead author Tom Mitchell, the ODI’s head of climate change, warned that by 2030 around 325 million people will be living in countries acutely vulnerable to volatile changes in the weather.
“We know that disasters entrench poverty – they don’t just end lives, they destroy shops, roads, crops, houses and hospitals in places where there are no safety nets such as insurance or social security,” he said. “Without meaningful change, talk of the end of extreme poverty is pie in the sky.”
The Full text of the report, which it titled Geography of Poverty, Disasters and Climate Extremes in 2030, is 88 pages and the executive summary is 6 pages.
Not only does disaster make the poor poorer, it creates new poor from those who were getting by, but just barely.
What is really frightening is that entire countries are at risk.
Given the very real progress in disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh in particular I found this report to be a little tepid. However, the most intriguing aspect was the idea of a resilience “buffer” – a reserve that would enable people to weather the storm [pardon the bad pun!]. As the authors note, this is a new concept, but one that is intuitively correct. Also one that conflicts with the economic policies of most governments – the idea of a reserve means saving; current economic policies are predicated on consumption and growth.