23 May 2017

The Strauss Center’s Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA) program has released a new report titled “The Political Economy of Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction in Pakistan.” The report is co-authored by Jennifer Bussell, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Strauss Center, and Graduate Research Assistant Asim Fayaz.

The report discusses government capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters – floods, earthquakes, and heat waves – in Pakistan. Pakistan’s disaster preparedness is relevant given its history of natural hazards, its unique geographical position, and the strategic interests of its neighbors and allies. The report used publicly available sources of data, public reports, and fieldwork conducted in Pakistan during December 2015. Also, on-site research consisted primarily of interviews with government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations with an interest in disaster management. Findings suggest that the Pakistani government’s ability to prepare for and respond to disasters has considerably improved over the last decade. However, the report argues that authority, incentives, and resources will have to be localized for the pieces to fit; town and city municipal authorities should be held responsible for enforcing building codes with heavy penalties; and illegal settlements should be dealt with locally.

Previous reports can be accessed here.