Livelihood recovery after disaster
Restoring employment and income generating opportunities to disaster affected communities is a vital component of post-disaster reconstruction. Livelihood opportunities are severely disrupted by the destruction or loss of essential assets ; with the result that people are unable to engage in normal income generating activities; become demoralised and dependent on humanitarian aid.
Build back better recognises the importance of rapidly restoring the local economy . Whilst the poorest are often worst affected and suffer most, analysis of the livelihood strategies that were employed before the impact of a disaster can provide clues and direction for supporting the rebuilding of improved livelihood options that increase resilience.
How to Promote Livelihoods?
Livelihood recovery is more than just the provision of assets; but needs to be based on :
• Analysis of existing livelihood strategies
• A comprehensive analysis of existing and future risks
• the vulnerabilities of the affected
• the accessibility of linkages to external influences and institutions . Including skills and knowledge
• Access to functioning markets
Communities are not homogeneous and while hazards do not distinguish between the different divisions in society (rich, poor, men and women, castes, etc.); the severity of impacts and the ability of individuals to recover vary vastly. Vulnerability and capacity analysis can help to identify the different needs of individuals.
Secure and diverse livelihoods contribute to reducing vulnerabilities while increasing resilience to the impact of hazards, shocks and stresses. The availability of a range of livelihood options generates reserves such as savings or alternative income generating opportunities during and after disasters, allowing people to cope and recover.
Build back better offers new opportunities to:
• identify and overcome societal divisions
• promote learning and skill development,
• increase economic activities;
reducing poverty and increasing the ability of communities to cope with and recover from future disasters.