PRESS RELEASE: Sudanese Government signs MoU with African Risk Capacity to address impacts of extreme weather events

Johannesburg, July 11, 2018 – The Government of Republic of the Sudan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to work together towards helping the country better prepare to efficiently deal with extreme weather events and natural disasters. The MoU was signed during the ARC ‘Lessons Learned Workshop’ for the countries of East and Southern African (ESA) region which held at the Capital on the Park Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa, to take stock of the ARC programme implementation.

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamad, represented by Dr. Hashim Hussein, the Secretary-General of the Sudanese National Council for Civil Defence (NCCD), restated the faith of the Government of Sudan in the African Risk Capacity as a tested mechanism to provide sustainable solutions against the impact of natural disasters in the country. The Government of Sudan formalised the partnership with the Agency shortly after an ARC workshop in June. He reiterated the power the African continent can unleash when there is unity of purpose, as exemplified in the ARC initiative to combat natural disaster risks.

“The adverse impact of droughts and floods in Sudan threatens livelihoods,” said Mr. Hussein. “Unless measures to prepare for natural disaster risk are quickly taken, the country’s ongoing efforts to combat poverty, reduce food insecurity, and sustainably manage natural resources cannot be adequately achieved. This is our hope and objective in signing the MoU to work with the African Risk Capacity.”

The Director-General of the African Risk Capacity, Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, stated that this collaboration is yet another milestone in the resolve of Africans to taking charge of their own destiny.

“The commitment of the African Risk Capacity to protect the livelihoods of vulnerable people in Africa against the impact of natural disasters can best be realised when other member states join Sudan in signing the Memorandum of Understanding with ARC for structured national technical capacity building. The disaster risks confronting Africa affects all of the continent, and therefore, can best be combatted when we all work together.”

The Government of Sudan began engaging with the African Risk Capacity in September 2017 to explore ways to diversify existing disaster risk management strategies through a sovereign insurance mechanism. Through the MoU, the Government of Sudan will work with the African Risk Capacity to strengthen the national disaster risk management and financing systems in Sudan and create a pathway to effectively and sustainably finance disaster responses, namely to climate disasters like drought and flood.

Several vulnerability indices rank Sudan among the countries most affected by climate variability and change in the world. Sudan has the second largest holding of livestock in Africa after Ethiopia, and a large percentage of the livestock are kept by nomadic pastoralists who are severely exposed to drought. Although Sudan practices a mixed system of agriculture, 70% of its cereal production is rainfed agriculture that is susceptible to drought and flood.

The African Risk Capacity model is home-grown, innovative, cost-effective, and is proving that it can assist member-states to strengthen their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters, thereby achieving the food security for their populations.

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About the African Risk Capacity (ARC):

The ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.

With the support of the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, The Rockefeller Foundation and the United States, ARC assists AU Member States in reducing the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa’s populations by providing, through sovereign disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters in a more timely, cost-effective, objective and transparent manner. ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle some of the other greatest threats faced by the continent, including outbreaks and epidemics.

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Chinedu Moghalu