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Assessment of the socioeconomic and environmental impact of hurricane Ivan on Jamaica

Publication cover
Corporate author:
  • Planning Institute of Jamaica
  • PNUD
  • NU. CEPAL. Subsede de México
UN symbol.: LC/CAR/L.22 77 p. : il., gráfs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC October 2004


The mission was made at the request of the Jamaican Government, undertaken with the UNDP
with a group of multi-sectoral, inter-institutional group of experts and consultants that assessed
the damage following ECLAC's methodology for the evaluation of the socio-economic and
environmental impact of disasters 2 and prepared a report with the assistance of the Planning
Institute of Jamaica. The report was presented on 19 October 2004 to the Minister of Finance for
their consideration in organizing the reconstruction process, establish additional resources needed
for the country and adopt mitigation measures. The issue of appropriate disaster reduction, risk
management and the use of risk transfer instruments were discussed with national authorities.
Hurricane Ivan was one of a series of very strong, extreme climatic events that hit the
Caribbean Basin in 2004, affecting more than a dozen countries during this year's hurricane
season. Such events have exposed the different degrees of readiness, response and resilience of
countries and states in the Caribbean region, exemplifying how vulnerability in the face of
recurrent hazards varies greatly in accordance with the level of their development. Resilience to
these events and sustainability are linked firstly to specific environmental conditions as well as to
organizational institutional and economic policies.
Countries and states affected by Atlantic tropical systems ranging from tropical storms
and depressions to category five Hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson scale); include the US state of
Florida, the island of Cozumel in Mexico, the islands of the Bahamas, Cayman Islands,
Barbados, Grenada, Tobago and Hispaniola with disparate economic and social effects in
Dominican Republic and in Haiti. The cluster of events in 2004 talks strongly to the link between
development and risk and disaster management where appropriate response and management of
emergency are positively illustrated (the case of Cuba);, minor global impact on the national
economy with relevant local and fund allocation consequences (Florida and the depletion of
FEMA's budget);, total impact of a major event on a small island development state (Grenada);
and spillovers of localized damage to the total economy both at the national level (Jamaica and
Dominican Republic); and regional level (the Caribbean as a whole where event though not all
island nations and states and governments had a direct hit, the whole of the region is exposed to
indirect and tertiary effects (in terms for example of insurance costs, reassessment of the risk for
investment, flows of tourism, etc.);.

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