Economics of Early Response and Disaster Resilience: Lessons from Kenya and Ethiopia   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "The impacts of natural disasters and complex emergencies have been increasing over recent decades, putting the humanitarian system under considerable pressure. In 2010 natural disasters affected more than 217 million people, killed more than 297,000 people and caused $123.9 billion in economic damages. The types, dimensions, and dynamics of humanitarian crises are further increasing, in some cases exponentially. A variety of factors are contributing to this increase, including climate change, increasing vulnerability due to erosion of natural, social and economic capacities, and fluctuations in the global economy. The costs of humanitarian crises are equally growing - not only do disasters and complex emergencies result in significant economic losses, but they also require mobilization of large amounts of humanitarian aid from the international community. According to a recent study on funding streams for emergency response, aid from governments reached US$12.4 billion in 2010, the highest figure on record. At the same time the CAP [Consolidated Appeals Process] reached its highest ever figure of US$11.2 billion, double that of 2006. This aid is heavily targeted to a few countries - over the past ten years, almost 50% of humanitarian aid (amounting to just under US$90 billion) was consistently spent in just nine countries. There is growing consensus that greater investment needs to be made in preparedness to reduce the impacts of crises, and an even greater imperative for further work to build the resilience of communities to be able to cope with these events themselves."

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