Environment and Disaster Management
    Examples of disaster impacts on efforts to meet the MDGs
    Direct impacts
    Indirect impacts
    1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Damage to housing, service infrastructure, savings, productive assets and human losses reduce livelihood sustainability. Negative macroeconomic impacts including severe short-term fiscal impacts and wider, longer term impacts on growth, development and poverty reduction.

    Forced sale of productive assets by vulnerable households pushes many into long-term poverty and increases inequality.

    2. Achieve universal primary education Damage to educational infrastructure.

    Population displacement interrupts schooling.

    Increased need for child labour for household work, especially for girls.

    Reduced household assets make schooling less affordable, girls probably affected most.

    3. Promote gender equality and empower women As men migrate to seek alternative work, women/girls bear an increased burden of care.

    Women often bear the brunt of ‘coping’, e.g. by reducing food intake.

    Emergency programmes may reinforce power structures which marginalise women.

    Domestic and sexual violence may rise in the wake of a disaster.

    4. Reduce child mortality Children are often most at risk, e.g. of drowning in floods.

    Damage to health and water & sanitation infrastructure.

    Injury and illness from disaster weakens children’s immune systems.

    Increased numbers of orphaned, abandoned and homeless children.

    Household asset depletion makes clean water, food and medicine less affordable.

    5. Improve maternal health Pregnant woman are often at high risk from death/injury in disasters

    Damage to health infrastructure.

    Injury and illness from disaster can weaken women's health.

    Increased responsibilities and workloads create stress for surviving mothers.

    Household asset depletion makes clean water, food and medicine less affordable.

    6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases Poor health & nutrition following disasters weakens immunity.

    Damage to health infrastructure.

    Increased respiratory diseases associated with damp, dust and air pollution linked to disaster.

    Increased risk from communicative and vector borne diseases, e.g. malaria and diarrhoeal diseases following floods.

    Impoverishment and displacement following disaster can increase exposure to disease, including HIV/AIDS, and disrupt health care.

    7. Ensure environmental sustainability Damage to key environmental resources and exacerbation of soil erosion or deforestation.

    Damage to water management and other urban infrastructure.

    Slum dwellers/people in temporary settlements often heavily affected.

    Disaster-induced migration to urban areas and damage to urban infrastructure increase the number of slum dwellers without access to basic services and exacerbate poverty.
    8. Develop a global partnership for development Impacts on programmes for small island developing states from tropical storms, tsunamis etc. Impacts on commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction—nationally and internationally.
    ALL MDGS Reallocation of resources – including ODA – from development to relief and recovery.

    Source: "In Larger Freedom: Towards development, security and human rights for all" by Sarah La Trobe, Public Policy Officer Environment and Disasters, Tearfund

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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org