Disaster Aid? Mapping historical responses to volcanic eruptions from 1800–2000 in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean: their role in creating vulnerabilities

Jenni Barclay, Richard Robertson, Jazmin Scarlett, David Pyle, Teresa Armijos Burneo

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This paper uses volcanic eruptions on Montserrat and St. Vincent to explore the role that British colonial rule in the past and near past (1800–2000) has played in response to and recovery from hazardous events, and in turn, the influence that the nature of the hazards has on these responses. We show that systemic vulnerabilities to natural hazards have been created by inadequate aid responses and longer-term chronic problems and demonstrate that hazard impacts are compounded by these vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities could be reduced by analysing integrated hazard impacts to generate mitigative measures across hazards and identify actions that more closely match timescales of political decision-making. Integrating local knowledge and experience into risk analysis will identify the most effective use of aid resource, ahead of emergencies. Finally, coupling aid for long term development with emergency response would improve outcomes and adaptation to longer term vulnerabilities in immediate rebuilding and short-term recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2022

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