The African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group has announced a $188,000 insurance payout to the Government of the Republic of The Gambia to assist with recovery from drought.
ARC explains that as drought conditions spread across West Africa’s Sahel region during the 2022/23 agricultural season, The Gambia was amongst the most affected.
This led to late planting in the districts of Badibou, Jarra West, Kiang North Bank West, and Upper River North.
According to the AfricaRisk View, ARC’s technical software for early warning and monitoring, a total of 153,902 people were affected, triggering a payout of $187,641.
The Gambia received the payout due to its participation in the ACR Group mechanism, which is designed to help African Union (AU) member states plan, prepare and better respond to extreme weather events.
The payout was made by ARC Limited, the insurance affiliate of the ARC Group responsible for risk pooling and transfer.
ARC explains, “The Gambia’s participation in this ARC risk pool was made possible by an insurance premium paid in part by the government, with premium support contribution from the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme, a framework developed as a collaboration between the African Development Bank and the ARC Group, funded by the Agence Française de Développement (ADRiFi AFD).”
Lesley Ndlovu, CEO of ARC Ltd, commented, “We are thrilled to be making this payout to the Government of the Republic of the Gambia and look forward to seeing the difference it will make in the lives of affected communities.
“ARC has been working closely with the country’s Disaster Risk Management structures to strengthen its response capacities to drought, and this payout is the culmination of these efforts.
“The payout will go a long way towards facilitating timely response on the ground, especially given the existing contingency plans to guide the implementation response.”
Meanwhile, through the Replica programme, a strategy which allows humanitarian actors to take out a policy on behalf of a country, the World Food Programme (WFP) also received a payout of the same amount.
ARC states that this payout will be used to implement recovery activities in the country and complement other efforts.
The Final Implementation Plan, developed from ARC’s contingency planning process, will guide the use of the payout, and assist 17,058 people in the affected regions.
The Republic of Gambia has chosen the use of a cash transfer to be managed through the National Disaster Authority (NDMA) to reach the most vulnerable. WFP will use the disbursement received in the same manner.
ARC suggests that in addition to abating increased food insecurity, the payout will also help prevent households from resorting to negative coping mechanisms such as selling off productive assets.
Commenting on the payout, UN Assistant Secretary-General and ARC Group Director General, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, said, “The impact of disaster events goes beyond the immediate socio-economic costs and can reverse development gains that Africa has made.
“In the absence of instruments such as ARC, disaster events worsen food insecurity and can easily trap vulnerable populations into perpetual cycles of poverty.”
He continued, “The effort from the Republic of The Gambia to build the country’s resilience is commendable.
“The government has continually demonstrated its willingness to fight the scourge of climate change towards protecting the lives and livelihoods of its people.”