The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has announced nearly $10 million in additional funding to the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) programme assisting African countries to strengthen resilience and enhance their response to climate shocks.
The financial commitment of £7.4 million ($9.63 million) for the Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) programme will bolster sovereign drought insurance protection, with a particular focus on Somalia, over the next three years.
The announcement comes after officials from the UK and the Bank met on the sidelines of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai.
“Somalia faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with the devastating effects of climate change hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Extreme weather can be catastrophic – and it’s vital that Somalian communities are protected and prepared,” said UK Minister of State for International Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell.
Highlighting the pressing humanitarian crisis in Somalia as an example of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable populations, Mitchell added: “This long-term approach will help Somalia to better plan and prepare for the risk of drought, part of the commitment by the UK and its partners to build climate resilience across the continent.”
The funding will be used to secure sovereign insurance against severe drought through the African Risk Capacity Group, a partner of the African Development Bank. This mechanism will facilitate swift pay-outs to Somalia’s government to support vulnerable communities in the event of severe drought.
This contribution supplements a broader commitment from the UK that encompasses nearly £20 million ($25.3 million) in new disaster risk financing commitments to reinforce early warning systems and address climate-related crises.
ADRiFi helps African countries build capacity to respond to climate change-related weather extremes such as cyclones, flooding and drought.
Contributions from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, and most recently Norway through the ADRiFi Multi-Donor Trust Fund have subsidized participating countries’ insurance premium payments, in addition to Bank resources mobilized through the African Development Fund and its Transition Support Facility.
“The Bank is thrilled to expand our cooperation with the Government of the UK to provide solutions to Africa’s climate change challenges, as well as to meet the Bank’s priority to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
The African Risk Capacity Group will collaborate with Somalia’s government to develop budgeted contingency plans, a pre-requisite for participation in the African Risk Capacity climate risk insurance pool. This represents a continuation of ADRiFi’s initial one-year of assistance to Somalia.
Last year, the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative ranked Somalia as the world’s second most vulnerable country to climate change impacts. Since 1990, the country has experienced more than 30 major climate-related events, including 12 droughts and 19 floods. The drought from 2020 to 2022 is estimated to have led to the loss of at least seven million livestock in the Horn of Africa – pastoralist families rely upon livestock for sustenance and livelihoods – with at least three million livestock lost in Somalia alone.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated 7.8 million people were affected by severe drought in Somalia at its peak in October 2022.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia appreciates the Government of the United Kingdom committing more financing to fund insurance premiums, and for being committed to support the Government of Somalia in putting up a sovereign risk capacity to respond to past and future droughts,” said Mohamud Mo’allim, Commissioner of the Somali Disaster Management Agency.
Under the ADRiFi programme, the Bank has invested more than $100 million and supported 15 African countries to access sovereign insurance and financial protection against climate hazards.
It has provided financial protection against severe droughts and tropical cyclones to more than five million people, bolstering resilience in vulnerable communities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Alphonso Van Marsh
Principal Digital Content and Events Officer
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org