Written by Sarah NEGEDU

AfDB promotes disaster risk management in Africa

The African Development Bank has approved the Africa Disaster Risks Financing Programme, ADRiFi, to boost resilience and response to climate shocks in member countries.

AfDB in a press statement believes that the comprehensive climate risk management programme open to regional member countries, would enhance their ability to evaluate climate-related risks and costs, respond to disasters and review adaptation measures at both national and sub-national levels.

It is also expected to facilitate initial financing for countries in need of support, the bank said, adding that the programme’s initial phase was expected to run from 2019 to 2023.

The enhanced resilience and adaptation of countries to the negative impacts of climate change as well as disaster risk insurance cover will reduce the vulnerability of the poor to climate change and act as a safeguard against loss of livelihoods in communities, especially for smallholder farmers.

Already, nine countries have expressed interest in participating in the programme. They include, Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

The Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, AfDB, Atsuko Toda, said, “Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, prone to a wide variety of natural disasters, including droughts, floods and tropical cyclones.

“However, disaster risk management suffers from inadequate financing and challenges in the deployment of available funds.

“This programme is a significant step to help reduce exposure and vulnerability of African countries, and will create a system to absorb, adapt and aid recovery of these countries from climate shocks.”

The banks stated that the ADRiFi would promote disaster response mechanisms such as sovereign parametric index-based insurance for which pay-outs would be disbursed automatically and in timely manner when a pre-defined risk threshold was exceeded.

It estimated that every $1 spent on ex-ante intervention through the programme would save $4.40 in ex-post disaster relief measures for a response carried out six months after the event.

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