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Impact of Disasters and Role of Social Protection in Natural Disaster Risk Management in Cambodia


  • Sann VATHANA

    (Council for Agrictultural and Rural Development, Social Protection Coordination Unit, Cambodia (CARD-SPCU))

  • Sothea OUM

    (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East-Asia (ERIA))

  • Ponhrith KAN


  • Colas CHERVIER



The pattern of risks faced by the poor and vulnerable in rural areas of Cambodia, as a consequence of natural disaster, is posing an increasing threat to their livelihoods. One third of the past three years has been taken up either with flooding or with drought, and the drought periods were more prolonged than the floods. The damage caused by flood and drought was comparable, although the flood of 2011 was the most extensive of the disasters. This paper presents impacts of disasters on household welfare and the linking of social protection interventions to address the entitlement failure of poor and vulnerable people suffering from the impacts of flood and drought. There is a strong need at the policy level to design social protection interventions to emphasize ex-ante instruments rather than the ex post response to natural disasters as focusing on emergency assistance and relief. Cash transfers programs provide direct assistance in the form of cash to the poor. Ex-ante cash transfer programs can play a crucial role in encouraging poor households to invest in business rather than spending on food. Microfinance schemes can also help ex-ante income diversification that can bolster households against widespread natural disasters.

Suggested Citation

  • Sann VATHANA & Sothea OUM & Ponhrith KAN & Colas CHERVIER, 2013. "Impact of Disasters and Role of Social Protection in Natural Disaster Risk Management in Cambodia," Working Papers DP-2013-10, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  • Handle: RePEc:era:wpaper:dp-2013-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlo Del Ninno & Paul Dorosh, 2003. "Impacts of in-kind transfers on household food consumption: Evidence from targeted food programmes in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 48-78.
    2. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Adam S. Booij, 2003. "Risk Aversion and the Subjective Time Discount Rate: A Joint Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 923, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Adeline Delavande & Xavier Giné & David McKenzie, 2011. "Eliciting probabilistic expectations with visual aids in developing countries: how sensitive are answers to variations in elicitation design?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 479-497, April.
    4. Yasuyuki Sawada, 2007. "The impact of natural and manmade disasters on household welfare," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 59-73, December.
    5. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
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    More about this item


    Natural disaster; Entitlement failure;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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