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Zimbabwe moves to strengthen polices against natural disasters

by Agencies
25 May 2018 at 14:12hrs | Views
Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe, and Dolika Banda, CEO of the African Risk Capacity Insurance Limited (ARC Ltd).
The Government of Zimbabwe and the African Risk Capacity (ARC) last week held a workshop on Disaster Risk Financing in Harare to discuss critical steps to strengthen the country's capacity to address natural disaster risk.

The workshop convened government officials, local experts of various disciplines, and development partners to strengthen existing and government-led disaster risk management and financing systems. Development organizations such as the World Bank, Mercy Corps, United Nations Development Programme and the World Food Programme, as well as private sector firms like EcoFarmer and Old Mutual, also attended the workshop.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Zimbabwe, H.E. Patrick Chinamasa encouraged ARC to continue its work with Zimbabwe and other African governments to shape disaster risk policy and bolster technical collaboration across the continent. He said: "It is my government's wish to participate actively and on a long-term basis in this pan-African solidarity initiative to help us finance part of our huge risk to disasters, especially drought."

Zimbabwe was among the first countries to sign the ARC Treaty in 2012, followed by agreements to start technical collaboration between ARC and the Government of Zimbabwe. As a result, Zimbabwe can  protect its population and economy from the impact of natural disasters, such as drought and river flooding, by transferring its disaster risk to ARC Ltd's continental drought risk pool.

Dolika Banda, the CEO of ARC Insurance Company Limited, thanked the Government of Zimbabwe for its continued engagement. "ARC is ready to work with Zimbabwe in building the necessary capacity required to create awareness on disaster risk, and to help the country benefit from cost-effective financing tools and packages, which will help to protect vulnerable populations from  natural disasters."

Natural disasters in Zimbabwe have been eroding decades of economic and development gains. Most recently, the El Nino drought of 2016 increased food insecurity and malnutrition of every province of Zimbabwe, and insufficient water made significant and wide-ranging impacts across the economy, notably on energy, manufacturing, education, agriculture, and health sectors. The 2016 drought was also followed by devastating floods in 2017, which displaced thousands of people, burst 70 dams, and swept away five bridges on major highways.

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Source - Agencies
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