Disaster Financing: A Contingent Valuation Approach

By Janek Ratnatunga and Ana Sopanah

This paper sets out to value the total public financing needed to somewhat alleviate the economic, environmental and social losses of an unprecedented human disaster using a mixed-valuation method, termed ‘Contingent Loss Assessment’ that integrates the economic loss assessment of the disaster with a contingent valuation of the environmental and social costs.

The focus of the paper is to provide a comparison between the economic predictions of the disaster financing required, and the amount of disaster financing that will better alleviate the human suffering observed, using contingent valuation method (CVM) predictions. Using the case of the ‘Lapindo’ mudflow disaster in Indonesia, it is argued that the incremental financing required, an extra $200 million flowing directly to those affected, is not an amount that is beyond the scope of those who have undertaken the responsibility of providing compensation to those affected.

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