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Impact of disaster-related mortality on gross domestic product in the WHO African Region

DOI: 10.1186/1471-227x-4-1

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The impact of disaster-related mortality on GDP was estimated using double-log econometric model and cross-sectional data on various Member States in the WHO African Region. The analysis was based on 45 of the 46 countries in the Region. The data was obtained from various UNDP and World Bank publications.The coefficients for capital (K), educational enrolment (EN), life expectancy (LE) and exports (X) had a positive sign; while imports (M) and disaster mortality (DS) were found to impact negatively on GDP. The above-mentioned explanatory variables were found to have a statistically significant effect on GDP at 5% level in a t-distribution test. Disaster mortality of a single person was found to reduce GDP by US$0.01828.We have demonstrated that disaster-related mortality has a significant negative effect on GDP. Thus, as policy-makers strive to increase GDP through capital investment, export promotion and increased educational enrolment, they should always keep in mind that investments made in the strengthening of national capacity to mitigate the effects of national disasters expeditiously and effectively will yield significant economic returns.This paper focuses on the economic impact of deaths attributable to natural and technological disasters. Natural disasters include avalanches, landslides, cold waves, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, droughts, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, epidemics and famines (excluding famines resulting from conflicts) [1]. Technological disasters include accidents, chemical accidents and urban fires.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has estimated that between 1980 and 1999, globally, a total of 1,429,412 people were killed by disasters [1]. About 96.4% (1,377,318) of those deaths occurred in developing countries, of which 38% (520,165) occurred in the countries that comprise the African Region of the World Health Organization (WHO). About 96% (499,510) of the disaster-related deaths in the Region result


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