Johannesburg, April 26-27, 2021 – The Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has signed the Treaty and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to work together towards helping the country better prepare, plan and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters. The ARC Treaty and MoU were signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Hon. Khadija Mohamed Diriye, the country’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management.
Somalia’s exposure to both drought and flood risks further threatens the national economy; requiring pre-emptive disaster risk reduction strategies to improve multi-hazard early warning, preparedness, and national coordination for disaster response. In this context, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management initiated an engagement with ARC in September 2018 to explore ways of diversifying existing disaster risk management approaches, particularly, through a sovereign and parametric insurance mechanism.
In her official statement, Hon. Khadija M Diriye, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Federal Republic of Somalia, said that ”Somalia’s hazard profile is dominated by droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, desert locust, diseases (epidemic/pandemic), and terrorism that disrupt people’s livelihoods, destroy the infrastructure, divert planned use of resources, interrupt economic activities and retard development.”
Increasingly, it is recognized that hazards are linked. “The impacts of natural hazards do not occur in isolation; but recognition of such cause and effect on a national scale has encouraged the Government of Somalia in taking on a paradigm shift from crisis management to risk management. This will enable us to utilise our finite resources in a more efficient and timely manner towards assisting the vulnerable populations in the event of disasters. Therefore, we are proud to sign the ARC Establishment Agreement, as its 35th Member, as well as the MoU, with a strong commitment to taking the necessary steps to ensure that the collaboration leads to building of our national response capacities against the adverse impacts of natural disasters.” Hon. Diriye concluded.
The signing of the MoU will set out the terms, conditions and a framework to facilitate cooperation between ARC and FGS to address the impact of extreme weather events, including providing training support to Government personnel as well as preparing Somalia’s potential participation in future ARC (drought/flood/tropical cyclone) insurance risk pools.
Commending the Federal Government of Somalia for signing the ARC Treaty and MoU, the UN-ASG and ARC Group-Director General, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong remarked: “As the nature and intensity of natural catastrophes evolve across the region, we maintain that the continent will be better protected through a pooled-risk approach bringing together countries and leveraging smart partnerships. Today, the ARC Group proudly welcomes the Federal Republic of Somalia as its 35th Member State. By simultaneously signing the ARC Treaty and MoU, the Government (of Somalia) has demonstrated a clear commitment to strengthening the country’s disaster risk reduction capacities; and thereby joining a growing number of African Union Member States that are accessing our tools to create coordinated contingency plans before catastrophes strike.” Continuing, Mr Diong added, “We would like to particularly convey our readiness to work with the (Somalian) Authorities in accurately profiling their natural disaster risks and designing quantified response plans to better secure the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the event of a peril.”
Chinedu Moghalu | Senior Communications Officer | African Risk Capacity (ARC) | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mohamed Shurie Nur |Communication Advisor | Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management | E-mail: email@example.com
Esther Azaa Tankou | Head of Information Division| Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission | E-mail: YambouE@africa-union.org
About ARC Group:
African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialized Agency of the African Union (AU) to help the 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 the Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets. ARC was established on the principle that investing in preparedness and early warning through an innovative financing approach is highly cost-effective and can save upward of four dollars for every dollar invested ex-ante.
With the support of the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, the European Union, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the United States, ARC assists the 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. In addition to drought, ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle some of the other most significant threats faced by the continent, including floods, tropical cyclones, and outbreaks & epidemics.
Since 2014, 65 policies have been signed by the Member States for cumulative insurance coverage of US$719 million for the protection of 72 million vulnerable populations in participating countries.
For more information, please visit: www.africanriskcapacity.org/
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