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Disasters and Conflict Zoë Chafe Worldwatch Institute USIP Global Peace and Security Seminar July 12, 2006 Outline Disaster trends Natural vs. “unnatural” disasters Case studies of disaster and conflict -Aceh -Sri Lanka -Pakistan -Hurricane Katrina Recommendations and project goals

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disasters and conflict

Disasters and Conflict

Zoë Chafe

Worldwatch Institute

USIP Global Peace and Security Seminar

July 12, 2006

  • Disaster trends
  • Natural vs. “unnatural” disasters
  • Case studies of disaster and conflict

-Aceh -Sri Lanka

-Pakistan -Hurricane Katrina

  • Recommendations and project goals
  • Your thoughts and questions
why disasters and conflict
Why Disasters and Conflict?
  • Immediate needs, survival mode
  • Direct competition for aid
  • Potential breakdown in social services
disasters of 2005
Disasters of 2005

Source: National Environmental Satellite, Mario Tama: Getty Images, AP, Karl Schular: IUCN Pakistan, Reuters, Wade Laube

disasters of 2005 year of records
Disasters of 2005: Year of Records
  • 650 “loss events”
  • 100,000 deaths (only 3rd year recorded)
  • 157 million people affected
  • Unprecedented economic losses ($210 bil)
  • Wilma: strongest hurricane in Atlantic
  • Delta: first tropical cyclone in Canaries

Source: MunichRe, CRED

disasters of 2006
Disasters of 2006

Source: ESRI/USGS, China Daily, AP/Bureau of Meteorology, Save the Children, Matt Rourke/AP, International Security Assistance Force.

this year disasters so far in 2006
This Year: Disasters (so far) in 2006
  • Afghanistan: Landslides, affected 300,000
  • Australia: Cyclones, $200 million in damage
  • Bolivia: Floods, $35 million in damage
  • China: Floods, $957 million in damage, 100 killed
  • DR Congo: Floods, 75,000 people affected
  • Indonesia: Yogyakarta earthquake, 5,736 killed
  • Iran: Earthquake, affected 160,000 people
  • US: Floods, 200,000 evacuated on East Coast
natural or un natural disasters
Natural or Un-natural Disasters?
  • Ecosystem destruction
  • Climate change
  • Population growth
  • Human settlements in risky areas
ecological safety net
Ecological Safety Net
  • Coral reefs and mangroves dampen waves and surges
  • Forests prevent localized flooding and landslides
  • Case for precautionary principle
who is at risk
Who is at risk?
  • Countries with low human development: home to 11% of people exposed to risk
  • But account for 53% of deaths from disasters
  • Disasters divert funds from social programs
  • Erase land and property records
  • Economic marginalization
  • Women at increased risk
disasters and conflict19
Disasters and Conflict
  • Selected cases of overlap
  • Disaster type can dictate amount of press
  • Potential to decrease human rights abuses
  • Aid can exacerbate conflict
  • Displacement can fuel future conflict
  • Military role necessary but complicated
  • Political leadership crucial
case study tsunami in aceh
Case Study: Tsunami in Aceh
  • Aceh site of 30 year conflict
  • Rich in resources; rampant poverty
  • Illegal logging lucrative for police, military
  • Tsunami brought international attention
  • Common goals of relief, recovery, reconstruction
  • Peace agreement secured in August 2005
impacts on aceh
Impacts on Aceh

Aceh’s total population: 4.2 million

case study tsunami in sri lanka
Case study: Tsunami in Sri Lanka
  • Civil war from 1983 to cease-fire in 2002
  • Tsunami affected all parties
  • Tamil Tigers accused government of discrimination in aid distribution
  • Aid slow to reach all communities
  • Peace talks resumed, but violence persists

Impacts on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s total population: 19.6 million

case study pakistan earthquake
Case study: Pakistan Earthquake
  • 50 years of tension between India and Pakistan
  • Earthquake killed more than 80,000
  • Landslides contributed to suffering
  • Border crossings opened for aid distribution
  • Disputes over logistics marred goodwill
case study hurricane katrina
Case study: Hurricane Katrina
  • More than 1,800 killed
  • New Orleans heavily impoverished
  • Intra-societal conflict under media scrutiny
  • Breakdown in communications
  • Conflict increasing?
foreign aid to us
Foreign Aid to US
  • $1 billion in total foreign aid offered
  • From 115 countries and organizations
  • UAE was largest donor at $100 million
  • Kuwait donated $25 million to Red Cross
  • UK meals were quarantined
  • Offers from Iran, Cuba were rejected
  • Environmental protection for cooperation:
    • peace parks, regional agreements, monitoring programs
  • Natural disaster prevention bridges political boundaries
  • Address war- and disaster-affected populations in comprehensive program
  • Strengthen civil society, encourage transparency
  • Creative and imaginative collaboration
future goals of the project
Future goals of the project
  • State of the World 2007 chapter
  • Engage disaster and conflict agencies
  • Roundtable discussion, Spring 2007
  • Disaster book, expected Summer 2007
  • Strengthen and update web portal
online portal
Online Portal