The commerce or trade sector may be affected by disasters of every kind, sustaining destruction of its physical assets (damage) and changes in the flows of sales. The latter may include both a decline in sales as well as higher cost of operation of commercial establishments.
This chapter describes the procedure to assess the effects of a disaster on the trade or commerce sector, using the time-proven methodology originally developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) (Handbook for estimating the socio-economic and environmental impact of disasters, 4 volumes, United Nations, 2003), further developed by the World Bank´s Global Facility for Disaster Recovery and Reduction (GFDRR) (Guidance Notes for Damage, Loss and Needs Assessment, 3 volumes, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2010), and now expanded and adopted by the PDNA. Application of the methodology enables the assessment of disasters’ economic and social impact on the trade or commerce sector, and the estimation of post-disaster needs for recovery and reconstruction.After a disaster, the trade sector may sustain the destruction of its assets (damage) that may include premises and equipment as well as stocks of goods for sale. In addition, after a disaster the sector may face changes in its production flows, including sales decline and possible higher costs of trade arising from the fact that the sector assets are destroyed or to other causes associated to the disaster (such as lack of goods to sell, strategic inputs of water and electricity, temporary absence of labor, lack of working capital, etc.).
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