chapter  8
Natural disasters, conflict and security
Pages 16

This chapter examines the impact of natural disasters on conflict and security. The interest in conflicts should need no elaborate justification. Violent conflicts constitute the most extreme manifestation of social breakdown: nations and communities are destroyed; families and villages torn apart; and social divisions exacerbated for years to come. The long-term economic costs are substantial: it has been estimated that it takes decades for a country involved in civil war to reach the income level it would have attained in the absence of the conflict (Collier 2009). The larger social implications of conflict relate to issues of random violence, legal collapse, loss of livelihoods, rape, stigmatization and exclusion, an increased number of orphans and widows, mental traumas, physical handicaps and forced migration.