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A cost effective solution to reduce disaster losses in developing countries : hydro-meteorological services, early warning, and evacuation

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  • Hallegatte, Stephane

Abstract

In Europe, it can be estimated that hydro-meteorological information and early warning systems save several hundreds of lives per year, avoid between 460 million and 2.7 billion Euros of disaster asset losses per year, and produce between 3.4 and 34 billion of additional benefits per year through the optimization of economic production in weather-sensitive sectors (agriculture, energy, etc.). The potential for similar benefits in the developing world is not only proportional to population, but also to increased hazard risk due to climate and geography, as well as increased exposure to weather due to the state of infrastructure. This analysis estimates that the potential benefits from upgrading to developed-country standards the hydro-meteorological information production and early warning capacity in all developing countries include: (i) between 300 million and 2 billion USD per year of avoided asset losses due to natural disasters; (ii) an average of 23,000 saved lives per year, which is valued between 700 million and 3.5 billion USD per year using the Copenhagen Consensus guidelines; and (iii) between 3 and 30 billion USD per year of additional economic benefits. The total benefits would reach between 4 and 36 billion USD per year. Because some of the most expensive components of early warning systems have already been built (e.g., earth observation satellites, global weather forecasts), these investments are relatively modest, estimated here around 1 billion US per year, reaching benefit-cost ratios between 4 and 36.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6058.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6058

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Keywords: Hazard Risk Management; Natural Disasters; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Climate Change Economics; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases;

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  1. Nicola Ranger & St├ęphane Hallegatte & Sumana Bhattacharya & Murthy Bachu & Satya Priya & K. Dhore & Farhat Rafique & P. Mathur & Nicolas Naville & Fanny Henriet & Celine Herweijer & Sanjib Pohit & Ja, 2011. "An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on flood risk in Mumbai," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 139-167, January.
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  4. Stefan Dercon, 2003. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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  6. Mendelsohn, Robert & Emanuel, Kerry & Chonabayashi, Shun, 2011. "The impact of climate change on global tropical storm damages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5562, The World Bank.
  7. Carter, Michael R. & Little, Peter D. & Mogues, Tewodaj & Negatu, Workneh, 2007. "Poverty Traps and Natural Disasters in Ethiopia and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 835-856, May.
  8. Craig E. Landry & Okmyung Bin & Paul Hindsley & John C. Whitehead & Kenneth Wilson, 2007. "Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurrican Katrina Survivors," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 326-343, October.
  9. Hallegatte, Stephane & Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Dumas, Patrice, 2007. "Why economic dynamics matter in assessing climate change damages: Illustration on extreme events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 330-340, April.
  10. Kellenberg, Derek K. & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2008. "Does rising income increase or decrease damage risk from natural disasters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 788-802, May.
  11. Hallegatte, Stephane, 2011. "How economic growth and rational decisions can make disaster losses grow faster than wealth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5617, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "An exploration of the link between development, economic growth, and natural risk," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6216, The World Bank.
  2. van Bergeijk, P.A.G. & Lazzaroni, S., 2013. "Macroeconomics of natural disasters," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50075, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

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