An Index Based Assessment of Vulnerability to Floods in the Upper Indus Sub-Basin: What Role for Remittances? (2016)

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There is a growing consensus among migration scholars that remittances tend to be a counter-cyclical shock absorber in times of crisis. In mountain contexts of the global South, lack of formal employment opportunities, precarious land rights, subsistence agriculture, along with the lack of access to financial instruments and social protection, severely limit the ability of people to cope with crisis and insure themselves against risks. The extent to which remittances can contribute to climate change adaptation requires further exploration. Previous research has adopted an index-based approach to examine the vulnerability of a country, community, sector, or ecosystem. However, similar methodology has not been applied to explore whether remittances have a role in reducing the vulnerability of recipient households to a particular environmental stressor. Floods are a major environmental stressor in the Upper Indus Sub-basin. However, village level flood preparedness remains low, and household level flood preparedness is comprised of short-term strategies. Remittances are crucial to meet the basic needs (e.g. food, education, healthcare) of recipient households. The findings from the vulnerability assessment indicate that remittance recipient households are marginally less vulnerable than non-recipient households. Remittance recipient households have lower dependence on the environment, better access to formal financial institutions, and are less likely to reduce food consumption during floods. In contrast, among the households engaged in farming, more non-recipient households have made changes in agricultural practices in response to floods than remittance recipient households.
Year: 2016
ISBN: 978-3-319-42922-9
Language: English
In: Migration, Risk Management and Climate Change: Evidence and Policy Responses, 3-23 p.

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