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Shelter from the storm ? household-level impacts of, and responses to, the 2015 floods in Malawi

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  • Mccarthy,Nancy
  • Kilic,Talip
  • De La Fuente,Alejandro
  • Brubaker,Josh
  • Mccarthy,Nancy
  • Kilic,Talip
  • De La Fuente,Alejandro
  • Brubaker,Josh

Abstract

As extreme weather events intensify due to climate change, it becomes ever more critical to understand how vulnerable households are to these events and the mechanisms households can rely on to minimize losses effectively. This paper analyzes the impacts of the floods that occurred during the 2014/15 growing season in Malawi, using a two-period panel data set. The results show that while yields were dramatically lower for households severely affected by the floods, drops in food consumption expenditures and calories per capita were less dramatic. However, dietary quality, as captured by the food consumption score, was significantly lower for flood-affected households. Although access to social safety nets increased food consumption outcomes, particularly for those in moderately-affected areas, the proportion of households with access to certain safety net programs was lower in 2015 compared with 2013. The latter finding suggests that linking these programs more closely to disaster relief efforts could substantially improve welfare outcomes during and after a natural disaster. Finally, risk-coping strategies, including financial account ownership, access to off-farm income sources, and adult children living away from home, were generally ineffective in mitigating the negative impacts of the floods.

Suggested Citation

  • Mccarthy,Nancy & Kilic,Talip & De La Fuente,Alejandro & Brubaker,Josh & Mccarthy,Nancy & Kilic,Talip & De La Fuente,Alejandro & Brubaker,Josh, 2017. "Shelter from the storm ? household-level impacts of, and responses to, the 2015 floods in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8189, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kilic, Talip & Palacios-López, Amparo & Goldstein, Markus, 2015. "Caught in a Productivity Trap: A Distributional Perspective on Gender Differences in Malawian Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 416-463.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    3. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alvina Erman & Elliot Motte & Radhika Goyal & Akosua Asare & Shinya Takamatsu & Xiaomeng Chen & Silvia Malgioglio & Alexander Skinner & Nobuo Yoshida & Stephane Hallegatte, 2020. "The Road to Recovery the Role of Poverty in the Exposure, Vulnerability and Resilience to Floods in Accra," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 171-193, April.
    2. Arslan, A., 2018. "Climate resilience in rural Zambia: Evaluating farmers’ response to El Niño-induced drought," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 275905, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Stéphane Hallegatte & Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Julie Rozenberg & Mook Bangalore & Chloé Beaudet, 2020. "From Poverty to Disaster and Back: a Review of the Literature," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 223-247, April.

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