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Markets in crises: the 2010 floods in Sindh, Pakistan

Working paper

Written by Steven A Zyck, Irina Mosel

Working paper

​After the 2010 floods in Pakistan, supplies dried up and prices spiked. Businesses were forced to close and even those that survived had to contend with breakdowns in trust, which made it more difficult to secure credit.

In response to the disaster, NGOs injected large amounts of money into local economies but the impacts were not uniformly positive. For example, agencies drove up the prices of construction materials, through buying large quantities of materials to build shelters.

Some of these challenges could have been mitigated with better pre-crisis preparedness and post-crisis understanding of markets and businesses.

Looking to future interventions, humanitarian organisations should address the fact that they lack the skills and time needed to properly analyse the social, political and power issues shaping markets.

In summary, this paper looks at how the floods impacted markets in Sindh province, the subsequent impact on people’s resilience and extent to which aid efforts supported recovery. 

Steven A. Zyck, Irina Mosel, Huma Dad Khan and Saad Shabbir