Policy Brief Explores Challenges of Restoring Livelihoods after Disasters

  • 2015•10•06

    A new UNU-IAS Policy Brief examines the policy gaps in addressing the challenges that mandatory and voluntary evacuees face in restoring their livelihoods following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Restoring Livelihoods after Disasters: The Case of Fukushima’s Nuclear Evacuees by Ana Mosneaga (Research Associate, UNU-IAS) looks at the different circumstances faced by these two groups of evacuees and calls for policies that allow for flexibility in facilitating a smooth transition from relief to recovery.


    Restoring the livelihoods of people displaced by disasters involves a dual challenge: re-establishing the means for making a living while adapting to a new environment. Fukushima’s nuclear evacuees are facing this challenge within the context of a response-to-recovery transition characterised by increasingly diversified living conditions. This calls for targeted policies enabling people to plan their futures irrespective of where they decide to do so.


    • Policy reorientation during the transition should be informed by a thorough analysis of the evacuees’ changing situations, their livelihood strategies and self-reliance abilities without existing compensation and/or relief measures.
    • Host communities need to be supported in order to provide livelihood support programmes tailored to the needs of the displaced and assist the integration of people prone to isolation.
    • Measures to facilitate understanding between the host communities and displaced populations should focus on issues of common interest.

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    This policy brief is an output of the UNU-IAS Fukushima Global Communication Programme, a research initiative examining impacts of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident of 11 March 2011 on people and society, the challenges of the recovery process in Fukushima, and related issues of risk and information provision.