May 4th, 2015

Insuring for Disaster

Sustainable Development

NATURAL disasters like the devastating earthquake in Nepal constitute a highly uncertain but quantifiable risk. No one can say for sure when a major earthquake will strike. But the fault lines are known. We need a new global system of disaster insurance, akin to how homeowners guard against calamity.

Relief teams and millions of dollars of aid are arriving in Nepal, but despite the best of intentions, emergency operations will be a desperate patchwork, and long-term rebuilding will be hampered by lack of funds, donor fatigue and red tape. That’s what happened in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, in the Philippines after a string of recent typhoons, and in the West Africa Ebola epidemic. We need a better approach.

Read the full article at the New York Times


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