Cover Image
close this bookAn Overview of Disaster Management (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 136 p.)
close this folderChapter 1. Introduction to disasters
close this folderCausal factors of disasters
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPoverty
View the documentPopulation growth
View the documentRapid urbanization
View the documentTransitions in cultural practices
View the documentEnvironmental degradation
View the documentLack of awareness and information
View the documentWar and civil strife


The magnitude of each disaster, measured in deaths, damage, or costs for a given developing country increases with the increased marginalization of the population. This is caused by a high birthrate, problems of land tenure and economic opportunity, and the lack or misallocation of resources to meet the basic human needs of an expanding population. As the population increases, the best land in both rural and urban areas is taken up and those seeking land for farming or housing are forced to accept inadequate land. These offer less productivity and a smaller measure of physical or economic safety. The following section considers each of these issues.