The disaster riskscape across Asia-Pacific

Source: UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Country: Indonesia, Japan, Marshall Islands, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Tonga, World

The region faces a daunting spectrum of natural hazards. ESCAP reports that these are closely linked to inequality and poverty, leading to a vicious downward cycle.
The Asia-Pacific region faces a daunting spectrum of natural hazards. Indeed, many countries could be reaching a tipping point beyond which disaster risk, fuelled by climate change, exceeds their capacity to respond.

This Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 shows how these disasters are closely linked to inequality and poverty, each feeding on the other and leading to a vicious downward cycle. It assesses the scale of losses across the disaster ‘riskscape’ and estimates the amounts that countries would need to invest to outpace the growth of disaster risk. It shows the negative effects of disasters on economies in the region and where investments are more likely to make the biggest difference.

While this will require significant additional finance, the report shows the amounts are small compared to the amounts that countries in the region are currently losing due to disasters. The report demonstrates how countries can maximize the impacts of their investments by implementing a comprehensive portfolio of sectoral investments and policies that jointly address poverty, inequality and disaster risk. It showcases examples from the region of innovative pro‑poor disaster risk reduction measures and risk-informed social policies that are breaking the links between poverty, inequality and disasters. Similarly, it explores how emerging technologies such as big data and digital identities can be used to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable groups are included in these policy interventions.

Ultimately, the report argues that countries will have to invest more in the measures appropriate to their own circumstances, but that they should also work more closely together to unlock the potential of regional cooperation.

Academic article on transparency in humanitarian logistics

Muhammad Khan is an HLA member and Research Scholar at the Department of International economics and business, Yeungnam University, South Korea and is working on his research thesis.

Together with colleagues Hee Yong Lee and Jung Han Bae, Mr Khan has published a lengthy article on the study.

Considering the importance of HL in reducing the impacts of disasters through fair distribution, this study aims to address the following question: “How can the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of HL be improved through transparency?” The primary data were collected through an online structured questionnaire from the employees participating in relief operations in Pakistan.

The study tested the items’ reliability, discriminate validity, goodness of fit, and psychometrical soundness of the hypothesized model. The study results indicate that the relationship between predictor variables (disclosure, clarity, accuracy, corporate governance, decision making and accountability) and the response variable (effective HL) is mediated by public trust.

Furthermore, the study suggests that public trust plays an imperative role in enhancing the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of HL. In addition, first, the study findings are expected to be beneficial for all stakeholders of disaster risk management, especially for governments, donors and humanitarian organizations (HOs), because they are persistently seeking strategies to assist victims.

Second, most importantly, this study raises awareness of the need to carefully evaluate decisions related to the fair distribution of relief items. Third, the structure of this article reveals research gaps and promising areas for further research. This article provides a deeper understanding of transparency in HL using empirical data, which has not been explored before.