The African Development Bank’s Board on Wednesday approved a grant of $2.1 million to boost the country’s resilience against climate related shocks and food insecurity. The funds, sourced from the African Development Fund, will go to provide technical and institutional support to strengthen Mauritania’s capacity to assess climate-related risk.
The Bank is extending the funding under its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRIFI) program to enable the country to take out a drought risk index-based insurance policy that is expected to cushion Mauritania’s economy against the impacts of drought-related shocks, at a moment when the country is also reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The African Development Bank is pleased that ADRiFi Mauritania will provide efficient and timely first-response delivery to targeted beneficiaries in communities that will be affected by disasters, and will strengthen resilience to drought-linked disasters in Mauritania,” said Atsuko Toda, Bank Director for Agriculture, Finance and Rural Development.
Mauritania, a Saharan-Sahelian country, experiences irregular rainfall pattern and repeated drought, which has a profound effect on food production and incomes. In 2017, 28% of the total population were food insecure.
The project will have three components: development of climate risk management solutions; supporting access to disaster risk transfer mechanisms; and programme management and coordination.
Advancing climate risk management solutions will be done in two ways: building in-country capacity to understand drought risk and implement contingency plans; and collecting more precise agro-climatic data for use in calibration of index-based insurance. Technical staff and policymakers will receive capacity building training that will help the country model its drought-related disaster risk more effectively.
Under component two, ADRIFI will provide funding for payment of 50% of the insurance policy premium for years 2020 and 2021 as well as support resource mobilization to establish a food crisis response mechanism.
The final component concerns overall coordination and monitoring of activities which will be carried out by the country’s Food Security Commission (CSA).
Mauritania’s risk insurance policy will be held by African Risk Capacity agency, a partner of the Bank on the ADRiFi programme.
ADRIFI in addition to providing African countries assistance in paying risk premiums, enhances the management of natural disaster risk by strengthening national capacities. Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Gambia have ADRiFi programmes.
ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialized Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacity 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.
Olufemi Terry | Communication and External Relations Department | African Development Bank | email: email@example.com