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£7.1 Million to Shield High Risk Countries from Climate Change Impacts

 At the recent COP28 summit, the UK government allocated a substantial £100 million to tackle climate change, focusing on supporting at-risk communities – of which £6 million will be dedicated to protecting Senegal, Somalia, Madagascar and Zimbabwe from extreme drought and/or cyclone events through the ARC Replica mechanism. This funding will be used to implement disaster risk financing and innovative insurance programs led by the Start Network, a global network of humanitarian organizations dedicated to locally led rapid response and preparedness. The additional £1.1 million has been allocated to Start Ready, an innovative mechanism that prepositions funds for predictable crises.

Start Network has recently announced the purchase of a cyclone insurance policy for Madagascar, in partnership with the Government of Madagascar and UN World Food Programme through African Risk Capacity (ARC) covering November 2023 to May 2024. The policy supports risk-prone communities in the event of tropical cyclones, which impact African countries bordering the Indian Ocean more frequently, and severely, compared to previous decades. In the event of an activation, Start Network’s ARC Replica programme may pay out between $1M and $4M* to support up to 400,000 affected people.

Madagascar is a country particularly vulnerable to weather-related hazards. Whenever they occur, cyclones, floods and droughts have devastating impacts on populations, causing loss of life, destruction of property and infrastructure, displacement, and loss of livelihoods. Notably, in 2022 and 2023, Madagascar was hard hit by intense tropical cyclones including Batsirai and Freddy.

ARC Replica provides support in terms of disaster response after the anticipatory and early action triggered by Start Ready. ARC Replica’s added value lies in strengthening community resilience to major hazards through the continuity of community support. Start Ready is another Start Network mechanism using predictive modelling to anticipate climate-related events, and aims to activate three days prior to cyclones making landfall in the country**.

General Mamy Razakanaivo, Executive Secretary of Emergency Prevention and Management Unit (CPGU) of Madagascar, says “ARC Replica is one of ARC’s programmes which makes it possible to at least double the capacity to respond to climate risks. It thereby enables vital support to be provided before the effects of a crisis are felt”

Similar parametric insurance policies have been purchased in the past in Somalia, Senegal and Zimbabwe. The additional funding from the UK government will be dedicated to funding locally driven humanitarian responses to El Niño-induced hazards.

Christina Bennett, CEO at Start Network says:

“We are delighted with UK government’s increased funding to Start Network for disaster risk financing. The continued support from the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office will help us protect more lives and livelihoods ahead of climate-related emergencies. By pooling risks and resources, we are able to make our funds work harder and stretch further. We are excited about our continued partnership with the FCDO and we support the UK’s call for bolder action to prevent the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable communities.”

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