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Session 21: Country Risk Management: Case Studies
Tuesday, 30/Aug/2016:
3:45pm - 5:15pm

Session Chair: Marie-Valentine FLORIN, EPFL
Session Chair: Asimiyu Mohammed JINADU, Federal University of Technology Minna
Room: Sertig

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Disasters and Long Term Economic Sustainability: A Perspective on Sierra Leone


York University, Canada

Sierra Leone’s economy is substantially dependent on foreign aid from agencies like the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The Government of Sierra Leone continues to implement structural adjustment programs recommended by these multilateral agencies, in order to continue to qualify for debt forgiveness and aid. Though not specifically related to the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), the commitments made by the government to these agencies in the health, education and critical infrastructure sectors directly impact the progress to be made towards disaster risk reduction and economic resilience. As an example, the Government of Sierra Leone took measures to satisfy the HFA by evicting and breaking down slums, and without concomitant housing provisions, this action lead to the development of slums in other unsafe locations. Long-term economic sustainability is undermined when policies like salary base reduction and removal of subsidies on staples and amenities like rice and petrol; and privatization of public services are encouraged, especially in the face of natural disasters. In recent years, Sierra Leone has had difficult experience dealing with the Ebola virus of which thousands of people lost their lives. This paper analyzes the case of Sierra Leone from the lens of economic impact and underlying causes for concern towards economic sustainability in a post-Ebola recovery phase.

The Disaster Risk Landscape for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

James Michael SHULTZ

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, United States of America

In contrast to continental nations, the world’s 52 small island developing states (SIDS) form a collective of countries that experience similar disproportionate challenges for sustainable development related their geography, small size, and physical isolation. SIDS also face elevated risks for disaster incidence and consequences particularly in the realms of climate change, sea level rise, natural disasters (tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes), and marine hazardous materials spills. Cyclone Winston’s direct impact on Fiji in 2016 and Cyclone Pam’s landfall over Vanuatu in 2015 illustrate the special vulnerabilities of the SIDS.

The novel disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster risk management (DRM) challenges faced by SIDS were reviewed in light of United Nations guidance, the Sendai Framework, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

For SIDS, the disaster risk landscape is shaped by the features of these island states: (1) small size and correspondingly limited resources; (2) elevated disaster frequency and severity based on geography (tropical latitude and longitude), geophysics (seismicity, volcanic activity, proximity to tectonic plate boundaries), and topography (sea level elevation, 360° coastal perimeter, steep terrain on some islands); and (3) physical isolation from other nations - precisely because SIDS are individual islands or clusters of islands.

For SIDS, the trifecta of natural disaster vulnerability, climate change, and rising ocean levels act synergistically to exacerbate disaster risks. Dispersed broadly throughout the oceans of the world, the SIDS act inadvertently as an early warning network for detecting the initial signs of insidious global threats. Given these realities, DRR and DRM strategies must be tailored to the unique constellation of disaster hazards and vulnerabilities that characterize the SIDS. The ability of SIDS to form robust alliances among counterpart island nations is an urgent imperative as is the need for infusion of international support to enhance disaster resilience.

Afghanistan Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment, cost benefit analysis and resilient design recommendations

James GLOVER, Marc STAL, Walter J. AMMANN

Global Risk Forum GRF Davos, Switzerland

Afghanistan is highly prone to intense and recurring natural hazards such as flooding, earthquakes, snow avalanches, landslides, and droughts. These occur in addition to man-made disasters resulting in the frequent loss of live, livelihoods, and property. The creation, understanding and accessibility of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk information is key for effective management of disaster risk. Assuring the resilience of new reconstruction efforts to natural hazards, and maximizing the effectiveness of risk reduction investments to reduce existing risks is important to secure lives and livelihoods.

So far, there has been limited disaster risk information produced in Afghanistan, and information that does exist typically lacks standard methodology and does not have uniform geo-spatial coverage. To better understand natural hazard and disaster risk, the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) have supported the development of new fluvial flood, flash flood, drought, landslide, avalanche and seismic risk information in Afghanistan, as well as a first-order analysis of the costs and benefits of resilient reconstruction and risk reduction strategies.

In this contribution we present an overview of the methodology applied to perform the multi-hazard risk analysis for Afghanistan. We illustrate some of the more detailed aspects of hazard detection, vulnerability and risk assessment for nationwide risk assessments with the example of avalanche risk. We discuss some of the challenges faced in working with large datasets and where data can be difficult to come by. In a multi-hazard risk project, cross discipline data exchange supports an integrated risk approach and allows future projections of the risks within a changing climate. The multi-hazard risk assessment provides the foundations for strategic planning and risk resilience in Afghanistan.

The Factors Affecting Institutional Performance in Disaster Management in Oman.

Suad Saud AL MANJI, Prof Jon LOVETT, Dr Gordon MITCHELL

university of leeds, United Kingdom

Oman is vulnerable to natural disasters and is developing institutional systems to improve community safety and resilience during extreme weather events. A number of variables affect performance of the institutional system in Oman. This study aims to increase understanding of the variables affecting the institutional performance in order to improve disaster planning and response. The key issue is identifying the most significant variables affecting the system. Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) using participatory methodology was used to identify variables and their interactions. FCM can be used as an explanatory method to reveal behaviour behind decision-making, as a predictive method for the future decisions and actions, as a reflective method to represent a given situation and the possibility of promoting and necessary changes, and as a strategic method for decision-making in a complex situation.

An FCM workshop was conducted in Oman with stakeholders from different institutions divided into 4 teams. A combined map was created to average the FCM result from the 4 teams. The combined map gave 21 main factors affecting the institutional system. The results of this study indicate that early warning and financial support improve the institution’s performance. Lack of cooperation between the different institutions, absence of a comprehensive emergency plan, and absence of land use policies adversely affect performance.

Preliminary Field reconnaissance following August 24, 2016 Italian earthquake in Central Italy


Politecnico di Torino, Italy

An earthquake, measuring 6.2 Mw on the moment magnitude scale, hit Central Italy on 24 August 2016 at 03:36:32 CEST (01:36 UTC). Its epicentre was close to Accumoli, with its hypocentre at a depth of 4 ± 1 km, approximately 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Perugia and 45 km (28 mi) north of L'Aquila, in an area near the borders of the Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo and Marche regions. At least 290 people have been killed and dozens more are missing.

Approximately 2,100 people found shelter in the emergency camps. Approximately 4,400 people were involved in the search and rescue operations, including 70 teams with rescue dogs. Logistics made use of 12 helicopters, with 9 more in stand-by. The towns of Amatrice and Pescara del Tronto have been completely demolished. Several damages to strategic buildings, historical buildings and residential buildings has been reported. A school building which was seismically retrofitted in 2012 has collapsed.

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