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Natural Disasters in South Asia


  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Kenneth Hill
  • Ganesh Thapa


Various types of natural disasters (e.g. extreme temperatures and floods) became more frequent in 1998-09, relative to 1985-97. However, the deadliness of earthquakes rose sharply and of extreme temperatures more than moderately while that of most others (droughts, floods, storms and wildfires) declined. While developing countries bear the brunt of disasters, ironically these are also the countries which have made fewer efforts to adapt their physical environments to mitigate the impact of such disasters and to insure themselves against disaster risks. If interventions do not go beyond short-term relief and shy away from rebuilding of livelihoods and reconstruction from a longerterm perspective, communities/regions highly vulnerable to natural hazards (e.g. low lying coastal areas are highly vulnerable to floods) are likely to fare worse with recurrent catastrophes. While our evidence points to growing vulnerability to natural disasters and their grave implications for human security, a challenge for development assistance is to combine speedy relief with durable reduction in vulnerability. If our analysis has any validity, there are indeed some grounds for optimism.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghav Gaiha & Kenneth Hill & Ganesh Thapa, 2010. "Natural Disasters in South Asia," ASARC Working Papers 2010-06, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2009. "Trends and Patterns of Foreign Direct Investments In Asia: A Comparative Perspective," Departmental Working Papers 2009-08, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Kimura, Hidemi & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2010. "Is Foreign Aid a Vanguard of Foreign Direct Investment? A Gravity-Equation Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 482-497, April.
    3. Ewe-Ghee Lim, 2001. "Determinants of, and the Relation Between, Foreign Direct Investment and Growth; A Summary of the Recent Literature," IMF Working Papers 01/175, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kinda, Tidiane, 2010. "Investment Climate and FDI in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 498-513, April.
    5. Crespo, Nuno & Fontoura, Maria Paula, 2007. "Determinant Factors of FDI Spillovers - What Do We Really Know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 410-425, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arouri, Mohamed & Nguyen, Cuong & Youssef, Adel Ben, 2015. "Natural Disasters, Household Welfare, and Resilience: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 59-77.

    More about this item


    Disasters; Deaths; Geography; Institutions; Reconstruction; South Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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