Today is the 15th anniversary of the 2001 Gujarat (India) earthquake centered near the provincial capital of Bhuj. Though tragic at the time, it provides a shining example of how economic stimulus can spur post-disaster recovery.
Since 2001, Gujarat has experienced double-digit economic growth, higher than India as a whole.
Shortly after the earthquake, the region received more than $130m in foreign aid plus $2b for reconstruction from the Indian government (amounts in equivalent USD). Even more importantly, the government established tax-free zones for businesses, which drew an estimated $10b of private investment to the region.
A 2007 report authored by the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority summarizes post-quake quality-of-life improvements, including an increase in the employment level among women from 42% to 92%.
Tax incentives, coupled with modernized infrastructure that resulted from reconstruction, account for Gujarat’s remarkable economic recovery and growth.
And that’s Jumpstart’s fundamental reason for existence: to hasten recovery, for individuals as well as communities. As a Benefit Corporation, our articles state the specific public benefit to increase post-disaster economic stimulus. Like Gujarat, we believe that with the right resources, anyone and any place can rise from the ashes greater than it was before.