Disaster Risk Financing: What it is and What it isn’t for Adaptive Social Protection In the Sahel - Debunking Myths About DRF in the Sahel

Adaptive safety nets are cash transfer programs that can rapidly increase beneficiary coverage, or the cash amounts they provide in response to disasters. Disaster risk financing (DRF) provides a set of tools and instruments that can efficiently help finance the costs of such responses. In the West Sahel, where chronic food insecurity and vulnerability are high and safety net coverage, data availability, and government fiscal space often remain limited, some of the common approaches to DRF meet their limitations. This note draws out some of these limitations and suggests ways for policymakers to address them. Among these, it suggests that governments in the Sahel focus on building reliable social protection delivery systems before turning to DRF; design DRF strategies that account for continued external assistance; focus first on more frequent, lower severity shocks rather than the extreme ones; and start their DRF engagements with sectoral DRF strategies rather than comprehensive national ones that try to address all disaster risks, costs, and sectors.