Plenary Lecture

Plenary Lecture

Emerging Microfinance Solutions for Response and Recovery in the Case of Natural Hazards

Professor Gabriela Prelipcean
Faculty of Economic Sciences and Public Administration
University STEFAN CEL MARE of Suceava, Romania

Abstract: The serious floods caused by heavy rainfall at the end of July 2008, affected many densely populated areas in Romania. Over 5900 houses, of which 1600 totally destroyed, and more than 21000 people were reported by local authorities to have been affected by the floods. The most affected areas were situated in Maramures, in Moldova, along the Prut and Siret rivers. These areas include critical infrastructure elements (town halls, border police offices, roads, dams, civil protection facilities) and had a negative impact on the economic activity.
The assessment of the effects of the disaster, conducted by the Operational Centre for Emergency Situations (OCES) under the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, have demonstrated the increase of the risk level with implications as systemic risk. Considering the multiple effects and the serious micro and macroeconomic implications, the intervention of the governmental institutions must be prompt and efficient. The lack of experience in the case of these extreme risk events, but also the budgetary restrictions, require, on the one hand, the reassessment of the insurance solutions through the introduction of a new financing scheme based on PPP, or the use of the microfinance products specifically created for natural hazards risk management, on the other hand.
Microfinance institutions could be efficient both in disasters, and also in events that correspond to the disaster response and the recovery process. Microfinance institutions could be easily informed on the potential consequences of natural hazards at different levels: clients, institutions, sectors. Microfinance products and services could be robust solutions, because they respond more directly to clients’ needs in the aftermath of extreme events. Identifying the optimal lending program is a difficult task and it is closely related to the global recovery process.
The design of these specific products represents an important contribution in order to develop an efficient recovery process, as the funds will be used more efficiently and promptly, and we consider that innovative solutions should be used for Romania and for other emerging countries.

Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Gabriela Prelipcean graduated in Economic Cybernetics at the Academy of Economic Studies (1988). Ph.D. in Economics awarded by the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, with the thesis: Restructuring and Regional Development (2000) and published at Economica Publishing House, Bucharest (2001). She is Professor and PhD coordinator in Economics at “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava. Her research and teaching covered an extended area of Economics and Business, Cybernetics and interdisciplinary domain as Economics of Disasters, Extreme Risk Events (natural disasters and terrorism), and Economics of Migration. She is vice-dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Public Administration. Fellowships awarded and academic programs: NEC Fellowships, financed by the New Europe College (NEC), Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest, research theme: Contributions Regarding Optimal Migration Policies after European Enlargement, 2008-2009; Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, Elizabethtown College, PA, USA, Extreme Events Risk Management, 2006-2007; Research grant at University of Bologna, Italy, in the field of Regional Development and National Politics of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (2001-2001) – Romanian Governmental grant (OG 697/1997); Postgraduate courses organized by the University of Luxembourg, International Economics “Regions of Europe. Europe of Regions”, 1997 – Soros Foundation grant; Postgraduate training program at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, 1996 – Tempus grant; Visiting professor at University of Sussex, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Marea Britanie, 2009-2010; Visiting professor and researcher at Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn and University of Bonn, 2009; Visiting Professor, University of Bologna, Italy, lecture on Assessing and Managing Extreme Events in Emerging Countries, 2005; University of Applied Sciences BFl Vienna, Austria, 2004; University of Bari, University of Modena, Italy, University of Torino. Participation at Conferences and Symposia in the Economics and Business fields in Romania, USA, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, China, Ukraine, Moldova. Author and co-author of 15 books, over 100 papers published in professional journals and conference proceedings in Romania and abroad and a frequent reviewer for international and national conferences and journals and research institutions and foundations. I have received many research grants and awards as director. One large-scale project was funded by the European Union. 10 grants and research projects were funded by Romanian sources (CNMP, ANCS, CNCSIS_Consortiu, IER, CEEX, Security Program etc). The main focus is on: Assessing, Managing, and Financing Extreme Events; Crisis Management in Natural Disasters and Terrorism; Financial and Currency Crisis, Economic Crisis, Migration Policies and Remittances; Econometrics. Professional affiliations: Academy of Management (2007-); Romanian Management Society (2007-); Risk Management Association (2004-); European Association of Regional Sciences (2004-); Romanian Association of Regional Sciences (2001-); Romanian Statistics Society (2000-); Romanian General Economists’ Associations - AGER (1992-).


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