The African Risk Capacity (ARC) has been praised by world leaders at the Paris Conference for the innovative way it is protecting the citizens of the continent against climate change.
Established by the African Union, ARC is a comprehensive and integrated African solution to tackling the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable people and wider development. It helps member states improve their capacity to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and President Barack Obama of the United States singled out the African Risk Capacity as an insurance model for other regions to follow, and made pledges to step up the role of insurance in protecting the most vulnerable against the impacts of climate change. Since the start of COP21, a total amount of US$150 million has been pledged to ARC by countries such as the US, Germany, France, Canada and the UK.
“A climate agreement here in Paris must contain strong provisions for all countries to strengthen their resilience. Solutions are available and examples include CRIFF and the African Risk Capacity”, said Ban Ki-moon.
“What we want to build is something sustainable. ARC already has delivered impressive results and paid out US$26 million to Senegal, Mauritania and Niger after this year’s droughts. We now have to transform trust from governments, the United Nations and markets into action in order to make ARC financially sustainable”, said ARC’s Director General Mohamed Beavogui.
As it stands, ARC provides coverage to eight African countries, including Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Zimbabwe. By 2020, ARC aims to scale up to 30 countries, with up to US$1.5 billion of coverage against drought, floods and cyclones.
The ARC was established as a specialised agency of the African Union to help AU member states improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters. The objective of the ARC is to assist AU member states to reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events and natural disasters affecting Africa’s populations by providing targeted responses to disasters in a more timely, cost-effective, objective and transparent manner.