Vulnerability to disasters can be defined as the susceptibility to harm or losses of people and their livelihoods, and of communities and socioeconomic systems in general. It implies absence or insufficiency of coping mechanisms and lack of capacity to anticipate the effects of disaster and recover from them, all of which amounts to a lack of resilience. Vulnerability is not exactly synonymous with poverty, as there are communities of people who live in absolute poverty, but against massive odds, and have organized themselves to resist disaster impact. However, throughout the world, in almost any context, vulnerability to disasters goes hand-in-hand with poverty, which is the root cause of that vulnerability. Moreover, disasters have been instrumental in both setting back and reducing opportunities for economic development. ...

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