Natural Disaster Recovery: a preliminary analysis of 21st century relief funding in natural disasters and its relation to long-term recovery outcomes
MeSH SubjectsGlobal Health
MetadataShow full item record
Other TitlesPerfect Disasters: a Preliminary Analysis of 21stCentury Relief Funding
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractNatural disasters - earthquakes, floods, drought, and other natural hazards – are globally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year. The victims of natural disasters represent an inherently vulnerable population, and it follows that international relief responses should aim to be effective and equitable in these emergencies. This retrospective, preliminary analysis of post-disaster relief funding from 2000-2010 suggests that disaster magnitude (measured by total deaths) is directly correlated to donated funds (p<0.01). Over an approximate six year period, funding was also shown to have a significant, moderate inverse relationship with mortality rate (p=0.0139). No significant relationships were found between funding and infrastructure or workforce in this analysis. Larger natural disasters attract more donations and are more likely to disrupt society for a longer period of time, likely affecting the mortality rate. However, confounders like socioeconomic and political climate, corruption, and geographic vulnerability make it difficult to assess the efficacy of recovery efforts. Ultimately, until tangible metrics (for health and infrastructure outcomes) are reliable, reproducible, and relevant, determining how to best utilize recovery funding and resources remains unclear. This analysis does not seek to criticize post-disaster relief efforts, but rather aims to encourage the development of transparent and efficacious response through the creation of these metrics to better inform future recovery efforts.