National income is not widely analysed as a determinant of how conflicts and disasters affect urban areas. There are very few high quality, systematic studies of how conflicts or disasters affect urban areas that clearly differentiate between low-income and middle-income countries.
The evidence available on the effect of the overall level of economic development on disaster risk, the likely scale of economic and human losses to disasters, and the capacity of cities to respond to them, suggests that higher levels of economic development do not necessarily lead to reductions in risk, but are associated with improved capacity to respond to disasters and to recover from them.
The following income-related factors have been identified as significantly influencing the impacts of disasters and conflicts in urban areas:
- Quality of infrastructure: The impact of disasters in urban areas is considered closely associated with the quality of infrastructure, including healthcare, drainage systems and emergency services.
- Government capacity: Planning and response capacity for disasters directly affects the scale and impact of disasters in urban areas, but broader capacity and governance issues are also significant.
- Informal settlements: The proportion of the population living in informal settlements is considered a significant factor for disaster resilience.