Impact of Human Development Indicators on the losses caused by natural disasters in South Asian Countries: A panel data analysis
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A large number of natural disasters hit the South Asian region every year taking away many lives, damaging million dollars’ worth properties, crop lands, livestock and leaving thousands of people injured and homeless. South Asia faces so many adverse events due to its geoclimatic characteristic but the socio-economic factors i.e. lack of awareness, insufficient funds for pre and post disaster relief, overloaded population, corruption, poor governance, weak infrastructures add more to weaken the situation. Though disasters are unpredictable and they are obvious to happen, some factors are considered in reducing the damages from disasters. A panel of 5 countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) covering period 1981-2019 was used to examine the effect of four explanatory variables – (1) population density, (2) GDP, (3) education and (4) life expectancy on the (1) total number of deaths, (2) total number of affected and (3) total financial damages. Using log-log model and linear panel regression, population density is found to have positive impact on the total deaths and affected. Life expectancy of birth is negatively related to the number of deaths and affected as expected. Again, education is found to be positively related to the total affected but reducing the total deaths and total damages. On the other hand, GDP is found to be positively related to human loss significantly but to total financial damages negatively.