ARC Limited: A collaborative approach to disaster risk management the only way forward
It is becoming increasingly clear that public-private partnerships are vital to tackling the fallout from climate change in African countries. The West African nation of Burkina Faso was recently assisted by such a partnership following devastating drought conditions from May to December 2021.
Estimates suggest a total of 3.3 million people in Burkina Faso are facing acute food insecurity brought on by the drought and several other factors, including a deteriorating security situation, forced displacement, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
A recent insurance payout of US$1.19m bolstered the Burkina Faso government’s emergency humanitarian response to the drought.
The need for planning
In 2019, Burkina Faso was one of four African countries to sign up for African Risk Capacity (ARC)’s parametric climate-change insurance – whereby a country can determine its immediate requirements in the event of a disaster with the coverage amount. This insurance covers weather-related perils, which are occurring more frequently and seriously on the continent due to climate change.
Burkina Faso is also supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), through the ARC’s Replica programme, whereby humanitarian agencies can replicate a government’s insurance. However, before taking out the policy, the agencies and governments must develop a contingency plan for how funds will be used once disbursed. As a technical partner, the WFP received the US$1.19m payout from ARC Ltd, which was used for the emergency response and to address hunger and malnutrition.
Burkina Faso has also benefited from other initiatives, offered in collaboration with the WFP. Strategically aligned with similar government policies and priorities, they are implemented in
a coordinated manner to manage and prevent food insecurity.
Among these initiatives are an emergency humanitarian response to resilience-building agricultural activities; development of community assets; improved market access; support for children's schooling; and the prevention of malnutrition.
This multi-faceted approach by ARC Replica partners and governments shows how such partnerships are possible, and indeed necessary, to boost support for vulnerable people on the continent and address climate-change issues.