Innovative insurance policies purchased to protect up to 800,000 people in Zimbabwe from drought risk – Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, 18 January 2022. A global network of humanitarian agencies today announced the purchase of an innovative insurance policy in partnership with African Risk Capacity (ARC) and the Government of Zimbabwe. Start Network works alongside the World Food Program (WFP) which has taken out a similar insurance policy and has been working on ARC with the Government of Zimbabwe since 2019. The three complementary policies will protect over 800,000 people in Zimbabwe against risk of drought during the 2021/2022 agricultural campaign.

The $2.5 million policy purchased by Start Network and the $1.5 million policy purchased by WFP are provided by African Risk Capacity and complement the $2.5 million proceeds purchased by the Government of Zimbabwe . The policies are built on parametric insurance, meaning they pay out before a crisis, according to pre-agreed scientific triggers, based for example on rainfall data. Unlike the standard humanitarian model, in which aid agencies receive funding only after a crisis has erupted, the approach enables governments and their partners to plan and respond before the worst effects of a crisis. drought is felt, saving more lives and livelihoods.

Start Network members involved in this initiative in Zimbabwe and potential implementing partners (in case payment is made) are; Action Aid Zimbabwe, Action Contre La Faim/Action Against Hunger, CAFOD, Catholic Relief Services, GOAL, Plan International, Tearfund, Trocaire and World Vision Zimbabwe (WVZ). Local non-governmental organizations are participating in the planning and will also lead the response to continue to strengthen locally-led humanitarian action. These include Zimbabwe Project Trust (ZIMPRO), Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), Family AIDS Counseling Trust (FACT) Zimbabwe, Nutrition Action Zimbabwe (NAZ), Simukai Children Protection and Caritas Bulawayo /Gokwe/Hwange/Masvingo/Mutare.

All planning will be done in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and WFP. If the policies are successful, the Government of Zimbabwe, WFP, Start Network members and other development partners and non-governmental organizations will provide complementary support programs to ensure that as many of those most at risk are supported.

The Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube welcomed the additional support from Start Network. He highlighted how the Government of Zimbabwe continues to promote the shift from a reactive response to a proactive approach to disaster risk management such as drought*. Hon. Mr. Ncube said: “Parametric insurance offers timely financial relief before natural disasters strike. After receiving complementary support from UN-WFP as a replica partner in pools VI and VII, the partnership with Start Network will make Zimbabwe the first ARC member country to have two replicating partners for the current Pool VIII. This demonstrates the confidence our partners have in Zimbabwe’s approach to disaster risk management with ARC Group.”*

Speaking on behalf of the African Risk Capacity Group, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, Director General/UN-ASG, commended the strong alignment between partners that made the initiative possible. He said, “The human impacts of natural disasters can only be significantly mitigated through smart partnerships that harness the resources of multiple actors for holistic solutions. We commend the strong leadership of the Government of Zimbabwe in the continued demonstration of confidence in the ARC mechanism. Parametric insurance, such as that provided by ARC Limited, remains one of the best tools for risk transfer as it ensures rapid mobilization of relief when disaster strikes. We are very optimistic that the rest of the continent will embrace the culture of preparedness and early action as we march in solidarity towards a climate resilient Africa.

Start Network’s Disaster Risk Financing Coordinator for Zimbabwe/Start Fund Regional Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa, Nelly Maonde, commenting on the initiative, said*: “It is time for more support to go towards proactive and not just reactive models of humanitarian action. We have had great success after two years of running a similar program in Senegal and we anticipate the same success for Zimbabwe. For too long we have seen the consequences of waiting for risk to turn into crisis before acting – it only leads to suffering. By proactively managing disaster risk, more lives can be saved, more livelihoods can be protected, vulnerable groups can be spared from resorting to negative coping strategies that undermine their future potential and resilience. »*

*“Under the leadership of the Government of Zimbabwe and in partnership with the African Risk Capacity, WFP promotes systems that provide timely funding and assistance to the most vulnerable before climate shocks occur. Through the Replica policy, WFP is helping to expand insurance coverage against climate risks. Payments received in 2020 were essential to fund early intervention measures. In partnership with the government, ARC, Start Network and other stakeholders, we hope that a proactive approach to disaster risk management becomes the norm in Zimbabwe,” said Francesca Erdelmann, WFP Representative and Director of country in Zimbabwe.

World Vision Zimbabwe (WVZ) Country Director Assan Golowa said: “We are happy to host the coordination of the network in Zimbabwe. As WVZ, we have responded many times through Start Network, including typhoid response in WASH in Bulawayo, urban cash response in Norton and most notably during Cyclone Idai, one of our worst disasters. more unprecedented in Zimbabwe. Many other Start Network members in Zimbabwe have received Start Network funds for various other emergency response and anticipatory actions, helping to save lives and minimize the suffering of Zimbabweans. We look forward to continued collaboration between network members and other disaster risk financing initiatives in Zimbabwe.”

A similar policy was purchased in Senegal for the 2019/2020 growing season and a payout of US$10.6 million supported over 300,000 people. The new policy signed in Zimbabwe is part of Start Network’s goal to revolutionize the aid sector by catalyzing new ways to prepare for crises and thereby helping to create more resilient communities.

This initiative is funded by the development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Start Network is made up of approximately 55 members worldwide, with 20 operating in Zimbabwe.

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Notes to Editors

For more information, contact:

Helen James, Head of Communications and Digital, Start Network [email protected] | Skype:

Start network: | @startnetwork

Start Network is a global network of non-governmental organizations, made up of more than 55 national and international aid agencies from five continents. Its mission is to create a new era of humanitarian action that will save even more lives through innovation, rapid funding, early action and localization. Start Network believes that climate risk precautionary financing could revolutionize the aid sector and catalyze a new way of preparing for crises, helping to create more resilient communities. Visit our website to see the full list of members.

African Risk Capacity:

The African Risk Capacity (ARC) group consists of the ARC Agency and the ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). The ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a specialized agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare for and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Limited is a mutual insurance company providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets. ARC was created on the principle that investing in preparedness and early warning through an innovative financing approach is highly cost effective and can save up to four dollars for every dollar invested ex ante. .

With support from the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, the European Union, the Rockefeller Foundation and the United States, ARC helps States AU members to reduce the risk of loss and damage from extreme weather events affecting the people of Africa by providing, through sovereign disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters in a more fast, cost-effective, objective and transparent. ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle some of the other most significant threats facing the continent, including floods, disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Since 2014, 62 policies have been signed by Member States for a cumulative insurance coverage of US$720 million for the protection of 72 million vulnerable populations in participating countries.

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Twitter: @ARCapacity