As commonly agreed, the vulnerability of a country is here considered as the risk it will be hurt by exogenous shocks. The vulnerability of countries has been recognised since the beginning of development economics as one of the main problems they face, due to shocks, either of external or natural origin. For decades, there has been a rich literature on the economic, social and political consequences of unstable export earnings. More recently, there has been a growing concern about other kinds of vulnerability, linked to shocks such as outbreaks of violence and other expressions of political fragility, epidemics, natural disasters and, above all, climate change: the vulnerability that climate change brings to developing countries in varying degrees constitutes a global challenge.
Report prepared by the Commonwealth Secretariat. Report Lead: Dr Ruth Kattumuri, Commonwealth Secretariat; Technical Lead: Travis Mitchell, Commonwealth Secretariat; Lead Technical Consultant: Patrick Guillaumont, FERDI; Technical Consultant: Laurent Wagner, FERDI. Foreword by the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.