|Disaster Economics - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 52 p.)|
|Part 1 - Disasters and economics|
The following main points have been made in Part 1.
Ö As all societies can be helped to forecast and prepare for disasters, society's failure to invest in disaster prevention is both inefficient and wasteful.
Ö As the impact of a disaster is frequently felt most by private sector individuals, their households and the private enterprises for which they work, any government rehabilitation plans must, therefore, have private sector support.
Ö There is no special subset of economic principles available to the disaster specialist which is different from those used to examine options in other areas of development economics.
Ö There is inherent tension in the recovery process between the sometimes opposite goals of getting things moving again as quickly as possible and determining which activities and assets are worth protecting and reinstating, and which are not worth replacing.
Ö The goal of disaster economic analysis is to create durable, innovative, feasible and workable solutions within the overall development process that will resolve problems quickly and cost effectively.
Ö The incentive structure under which people work and produce must be adequate to encourage people to participate fully in the process of recovery.
Ö Natural disasters are likely to have a national focus, while human-made disasters may require regional or global intervention.
Ö There is a special case of human-made disaster, domestic economic mismanagement, which can only be resolved nationally through some overall strategy of policy and legislative reform, generally called structural adjustment.
Ö Although extensive analysis is often required to consider economic trade-offs, disaster situations require quick assessments of the total resource requirements, and estimates of sectoral need will almost certainly require undertaking rapid urban and rural assessments.
Ö It is essential that a readily applicable checklist of necessary conditions exists prior to a disaster, which will allow government to satisfy itself that a) all feasible alternatives have been examined on a consistent basis, b) proposed public sector rehabilitation is justified in the light of priorities, and c) proposed rehabilitation is integrated with government policies for controlling public expenditure.
Ö When preparing a recovery programme, it is important to ensure that the costs of maintaining rebuilt infrastructure are included in the national budget because there is no point in reinstating national assets if they are not going to be maintained.
Ö Principles of post-disaster resource allocation must be agreed upon and used to guide (rather than dictate) economic rehabilitation.
Ö The design of the recovery programme should, as far as possible, incorporate arrangements for flexible implementation at the local level.