Disaster Risk Financing meets ASP: Maximizing the effectiveness of shock response
The online seminar named “Disaster Risk Financing meets ASP: Maximizing the effectiveness of shock response” was presented by the socialprotection.org platform and moderated by Veronika Bertram, Lead Risk Advisor at the Center for Disaster Protection. It is part of the webinar series ‘ASPects — Practice Exchange on Adaptive Social Protection’, organized by socialprotection.org and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Like previous ones, this online seminar is focused on Financing, one of the ASP Building Blocks presented during this series.
The objective of this online seminar was to discuss policies to strengthen financing approaches to adaptive social protection aimed at assisting vulnerable populations around the globe. During this webinar we had the opportunity to listen from various speakers: Alexander Jäger, Senior Specialist at the World Bank; Fenix Lung, Social Protection Specialist at the World Bank; Mulder Mkutumula, Scalable Coordinator for the National Local Government Finance Committee from Malawi; and Raja Nazaruddin, Associate Project Manager at the United Nations University (UNU).
The first speaker was Mr. Alexander Jäger, from the World Bank. He mentions the climate change impacts that oblige people to cushion socioeconomic damages in several countries. Naturally, according to him, risk management has become a central subject in the world. This subject is sustained by the financial, environmental, and humanitarian debates, which are part of the discussion presented in this webinar. In applying social protection to natural disasters, Mr. Jäger believes that it is a combination of activities that sustain the institutional effort that protects people from eventual risks: First, he defends the use of social insurance as a measure to be taken before the disaster itself. Thereafter, another step is to guarantee social assistance to the poor and unprotected (children, for instance). As a future step, Mr. Jäger highlights the necessity to change the labor market that sustains the productive chain of a country, replacing activities that harm the environment (like coal industry) with renewable ones.
On Felix Lung’s presentation, his focus was the Sahel case (specifically Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal) and the region’s Adaptative Social Protection Programme. Mr. Lung’s highlights how social protection is essential in the Sahel and in West Africa due to high vulnerabilities on floods, droughts, conflicts, raising prices, food insecurity, poor governance, and extremely limited budgets. Due to the complexity in which those national systems must act, Mr. Lung suggests that some steps must be taken regarding social protection. The first one is understanding that social protection is broader than usual (meaning that its impact can be measured not just for poverty reduction, but for climate change and minimizing disaster risk situations); following by the strengthening of the system, aiming to create rapid response and efficiency. His third strategy is to enhance preexisting disaster risk financing mechanisms to mitigate future losses.
Mr. Mkutumula’s presentation focused on the Malawian case and its social protection measures to cushion negative shock impacts through established financing approaches. He reinforces what was already showed by Mr. Jäger that, like many African countries, Malawi has a more reactive than proactive policy, which results in measures that are usually taken after the disaster, which economically, it could be a very troubled situation for the Malawian government and population. Looking to improve the Malawian capacity to face natural disasters, Mr. Mkutumula suggests that the government must better allocate their resources and apply them not just for social protection payouts, but also for climate change measures, which is a current event in countries nowadays. The Social Cash Transfer Programme Scapable Mechanism, co-created by the Malawian government and the World Bank, provides cash for vulnerable populations, aims to protect them from eventual economic and social issues. As there is already funding for the payouts in place, the population can be reached quickly.
Mr. Nazaruddin’s, from the United Nations University, focused his presentation on the Parametric Microinsurance project, a model of pre-arranged insurance, looking to absorb the impact of natural disasters like heavy rainfalls and winds with capability to cause meaningful structural damages. This project ensures individuals in high risk areas based on a government subsidy. It is supposed to be active in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Santa Lucia, Grenada, and Belize) and Pacific countries (Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea). However, Mr. Nazaruddin’s points out that the insurance’s impacts on the communities is still to be understood more fully before expanding the country scope. The idea, according to Mr. Nazaruddin, it is to be the most accessible social protection-related instrument, ranging from populations in centric areas to common people from isolated communities.
The full recording of the webinar is available here and the slide presentation here.
This was the tenth webinar in the "ASPects – Practice Exchange on ASP" series. These webinars are dedicated to bringing together practitioners, leading experts, and policy makers to share and exchange perspectives on Adaptive Social Protection (ASP). Each webinar within the series will focus on specific practically relevant aspects of one related ASP Building Block (Institutional arrangements and partnerships - Programs - Data and information - Finance). The series, organized by the GIZ Global Program Social Protection Innovation and Learning (SPIL) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with socialprotection.org and other partners, aims at informing the global public policy dialogue on building back better systems and better preparedness for future shocks.