The Economics of Disaster Risk Management in Nepal

The Economics of Disaster Risk Management in Nepal

Uma Shankar Prasad (Tribhuvan University, Central Department of Economics, Kirtipur, Nepal)
DOI: 10.4018/IJDREM.2019010101
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Nepal is highly vulnerable to many disasters and substantially increasing every year. It has been creating an adverse impact on human lives, livelihoods, and infrastructures. The primary objective of this study is to state the human causalities and economic loss from disasters in Nepal and suggest institutional and system reforms for effective disaster risk management in the country. This is an analytical study based on secondary data. Data published from various government and non-government organizations are used to analyse the situation. Although the findings of the study reveal that the Government of Nepal has been continuously carrying out many efforts for fighting against various levels of disasters in the country, it concludes that additional efforts are needed from the federal to the local level at all phases of disaster management including preparedness, response, and recovery. It is also important to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation policies, plans and programmes into national development.
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Global And National Scenario

Over the last 100 plus years the economic losses from natural disasters, in absolute terms, have increased significantly. More than 7 trillion US dollars economic loss and 8 million deaths occurred by natural disasters since the start of the 20th century due to over 35 thousand natural disaster events since 1900 globally. Around a third of economic losses between 1900 and 2015 have been caused by floods. Earthquakes have caused around 26 percent of losses, storms around 19 percent, and volcanic eruptions around 1 percent. However, in recent times, since 1960, the highest percentage has switched to storm (and storm surge) with around 30 percent of losses (Luis, 2016).

Table 1.
The 10 biggest natural disasters worldwide by economic loss from 1980 to 2016 (in billion U.S. dollars)
S. N.Type of DisasterCountryYearDamage
1.Earthquake, TsunamiJapan2011210
2.Hurricane KatrinaUSA2005125
3.Kobe EarthquakeJapan1995100
4.Sichuan EarthquakeChina200885
5.Hurricane SandyUSA/Canada/Caribbean201268.5
6.Northridge EarthquakeUSA199444
8.Hurricane LikeUSA/Caribbean200838
10.Earthquake, TsunamiChile201030

Source: Statista (2018) (

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