Essay by Eric Worrall
According to Vox, providing “anticipatory” disaster payments to poor countries before the disasters strike is better than helping people survive natural disasters.
Climate disasters hit poor people hardest. There’s an obvious solution to that.
New experiments show the power of giving cash right before extreme weather strikes.
By Sigal Samuel Feb 3, 2023, 7:00am EST
Mitigation is vastly more popular than adaptation. Of all the funding directed toward fighting climate change globally, over 90 percent goes into the mitigation bucket. And I can’t claim to be surprised: For years, I’ve mostly focused on that bucket, too. I saw mitigation as the way to solve climate change, while adaptation seemed like putting a Band-Aid on one of the world’s biggest problems.
And yet, who determines the time scale of our response to that problem?
One approach to adaptation is to direct funding to governments so they can build up the infrastructure — whether that’s a seawall or a new irrigation system — to reduce the impacts of shocks. These big public goods are definitely important, and they should get a larger share of climate financing than they do today. But implementing major projects like these can take time. If you’re, say, a smallholder farmer whose food and income source is about to be wiped away by a climate change-enhanced cyclone, you don’t have that time.
So a nascent approach to adaptation aims to help vulnerable people by giving them just-in-time cash transfers. That means free money, no strings attached, that recipients can use to improve their resilience in the days or weeks before extreme weather hits. Researchers can pinpoint when and where it’ll hit thanks to advances in data availability and predictive analytics. Recent experiments show how successful this approach is, making the case that anticipatory cash transfers should play a bigger role in climate adaptation.
…Read more: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23574798/climate-adaptation-anticipatory-cash-transfers-givedirectly
Why do these countries need handouts rather than paying for their own sea walls?
In my opinion the most likely explanation is they are ruled by kleptocrats who stole the sea wall fund.
Any accumulation of money in such places attracts thieves with badges. Very little money reaches its intended.
Providing “anticipatory cash transfers” is more likely to result in the ruling kleptocrats upgrading their luxury automobiles, or armed thugs stealing the sea wall concrete to build a new palace, than vulnerable villagers receiving a new sea wall.
If you have any doubts about the rampant corruption and government backed theft in aid recipient countries, please read Kenyan economist James Shikwati’s Der Spiegel interview “For Gods Sake, Please Stop the Aid“.