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Rural coping strategies to natural disasters: Household responses to hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua Marrit van den Berg, Development Economics Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural coping strategies to natural disasters: Household responses to hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua Marrit van den Berg, Development Economics Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural coping strategies to natural disasters: Household responses to hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua Marrit van den Berg, Development Economics Group

2 Research project: Natural hazards, poverty traps, and adaptive livelihoods in Nicaragua, 2005-2008 (funded by NWO) LSMS survey 1998-1999-2001-(2003?) Own data to be collected

3 Assets Utility L1 L2 ASAS Shocks and poverty Income Poverty Line A Static Asset Poverty Line Dynamic Asset Poverty Line A* A t =A 0 (dynamic equilibrium) Next Periods Assets A* 1 U* L Poverty Trap A* 2 U* H AbAb AaAa x

4 Natural Hazards in Nicaragua Table 1. Descriptive figures per disaster type, Nicaragua (yearly averages for 1980-2000). Disasters [number/year] Casualties [killed/year] Population exposed [number/year] Relative vulnerability [killed/million exposed] Droughts 0.140 267,1160 Earthquakes 0.148.91,515,5885.8 Floods 0.242.5328,4597.7 Cyclones0.33162.6804,228202.1

5 Hurricane Mitch, October 26-27, 1998

6 Aggregate effects Intense rains: floods, strong currents, landslides Effects magnified by deforestation, intensive land use & human settlements on hillsides, riverbanks & lakeshores 19% of population affected 867,000 people homeless (end of Nov: 65,000) 3,045 dead, 287 wounded, nearly 1,000 missing Rural areas: lands left unusable, roads and bridges destroyed Total cost of US$ 988 million (45 % of GDP) Damage to productive sectors 34%, mostly to agriculture

7 Mitch and food production Crops (domestic consumption) Estimated production losses (% of production) Rice22% Beans28% Maize7% Sorghum18% Soybeans33%

8 Prices of staple crops

9 Rural support programs Stimulation of apante production WFP 2/3 Food for Work (housing, infrastructure, farms) 1/3 Vulnerable groups (women and children)..

10 Pre- and post-Mitch rural poverty ( HCI, % ) PovertyExtreme poverty National 0.4 0.0 Pacific-4.0 ** -3.6 ** Central 3.6 ** 2.9 ** Atlantic 1.3-0.8

11 Household effects: reported losses (N=393) % of hhsAverage loss (C$) Income shocks Loss of crops714,539.... Asset shocks Damage to agr. assets535,731 Damage to home49-...

12 Consumption change 1999-1998

13 Institutional support in Mitch-affected areas % of households Value per recipient hhold All rural households (N=429) Gift of home, building material or land12%1,713 Gift of clothes, shoes, medicine, other29%328 Food gift53%459 All farmers (N=329) Technical assistance12% Participation in projects5% -technical assistance3% -inputs1% -credit1% -other0% Note: a Up two three answers allowed.

14 Coping mechanisms for 98-99 shocks to agriculture N=297% of households Drastic reduction in consumption31% Work longer hours14% Spent financial savings10% External support (NGO/govt/other)6% Stopped repaying loans6% Sow other product5% Asset sales5% Received loans4% Use organic treatment2% Other1% Nothing49% All farm households experiencing shocks100% Note: a Up two three answers allowed.

15 Methodological considerations Focus on income-generating capacity: assets Physical, natural, human, social, financial Asset vs income shocks Assets as coping mechanism Analysis at different scales


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