From Poverty to Disaster and Back: a Review of the Literature (2020)

Hallegatte, S., Vogt-Schilb, A., Rozenberg, J. et al. From Poverty to Disaster and Back: a Review of the Literature. EconDisCliCha 4, 223–247 (2020).

Poor people are disproportionally affected by natural hazards and disasters. This paper provides a review of the multiple factors that explain why this is the case. It explores the role of exposure (often, but not always, poor people are more likely to be affected by hazards), vulnerability (when they are affected, poor people tend to lose a larger fraction of their wealth), and socio-economic resilience (poor people have a lower ability to cope with and recover from disaster impacts). Finally, the paper highlights the vicious circle between poverty and disaster losses: poverty is a major driver of people’s vulnerability to natural disasters, which in turn increase poverty in a measurable and significant way. The main policy implication is that poverty reduction can be considered as disaster risk management, and disaster risk management can be considered as poverty reduction.

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