Saint Lucia: Measuring the Impact of Disaster Events on Poverty and Social Vulnerability

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A young girl stands outside a home destroyed by a rainfall-triggered landslide in Castries, Saint Lucia, in 2013. Source.

Context and Objectives 
Saint Lucia is exposed to high levels of risk from meteorological and geologic hazards which have significant negative impacts on its economic and fiscal stability. Since 2010, two major natural disasters have impacted Saint Lucia - Hurricane Tomas in 2010, resulting in losses of about 40% of GDP, and severe flooding in 2013, resulting in losses of about 8% of GDP. 

The Measuring the Impact of Disaster Events on Poverty and Social Vulnerability project was approved in June 2016, in response to the government’s request for support in better targeting the poor and socially vulnerable in comprehensive DRM and Social Protection programs.

The project, implemented by the World Bank, aims to analyze the impact of natural disasters on social vulnerability in Saint Lucia, in order to inform disaster risk management (DRM) and other relevant strategies and policies to in particular better target the poor and socially vulnerable in a comprehensive DRM Program.

Main Activities

  • Take stock of quality assessment, and prepare data for the analysis of the impact of natural disasters on social vulnerability. This entails collecting existing data on household welfare and existing data on hazard events and disaster impact.
  • Develop the methodology for the assessment.
  • Conduct a socio-economic survey to inform the welfare analysis. The national statistical office (NSO) currently collects Labor Force Surveys every quarter and is expected to pilot a consumption module used to measure poverty that will be added to the survey. The project would support the NSO in designing a survey module to better understand the impact of disasters. The surveys would focus on the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty and other indicators of social vulnerability.
  • Analyze data to calculate/quantify the relationship between disaster impact and welfare. This includes identifying areas that have in the past been affected by natural disasters, conducting before-and-after poverty and social vulnerability analysis, and comparing conclusions reached with the situation in unaffected or only indirectly affected communities.
  • Integrate the analysis into a comprehensive risk management framework/strategy.
  • Publish and disseminate results of the analysis, and organise workshops to promote knowledge exchange between SIDS.

The following results have been achieved to date:

  • The development of a "disaster shocks module' enabling the integration of disaster assessments in policy analysis. The module was piloted in Saint Lucia and will be incorporated in Living Standard Measurement Study surveys throughout Eastern Caribbean.
  • A Social Vulnerability Index has been developed that will contribute to the quantification of the impact of disasters on social wellbeing in Saint Lucia. The preliminary findings from the analysis were presented to the Central Statistics Office and to 60 technical experts during the Urban Resilience Conference in November 2017.
  • The project team is currently developing, in consultation with the Central Statistical Office, a methodological framework for assessing the impact of disasters on wellbeing.

Partnerships and Coordination
The project is implemented by the World Bank Caribbean Disaster Risk Management team within the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, with support from the World Bank Poverty Global Practice, in close collaboration with relevant government departments and other domestic stakeholders. The team works in particularly closely with the Statistical Office in Saint Lucia. In addition, coordination with EU-funded activities is being undertaken, through coordination with regional EU Delegation in Barbados.

  • Caribbean
Priority area
  • Risk identification and assessment
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $175,000
  • $0
  • 03/2017 - 03/2019