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The economic impact of natural disasters in the Philippines

Working papers

This paper forms part of a wider investigatory study on the economic impacts of natural disasters in south-east Asia and the Pacific. The paper is one of three case studies, examining recent experiences in Fiji, the Philippines and Viet Nam.

Findings include the following:

  • The Philippines experiences all major types of natural hazard and is widely acknowledged as one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world.
  • Natural disasters result in significant economic losses every year.
  • The agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards.
  • Natural disasters have played some role in determining patterns of investment.
  • Natural disasters have placed a continual, if fluctuating, burden on government finance.
  • Poverty, disaster vulnerability and environmental degradation are integrally linked and natural hazards have played an important role in reinforcing poverty.
  • Considerable attention has been paid to disaster management but these efforts have largely concentrated on preparedness and post-disaster response.
  • Similarly, donor disaster-related activities have primarily focused on preparedness and response, rather than prevention and mitigation, measures.
Charlotte Benson