The African Risk Capacity (ARC) has received a grant funding of €9 million from the European Union Commision at a special COP 27 event as part of marking the 10th anniversary of the specialised agency of the African Union.
The ARC was established in 2021, it is a provider of parametric disaster insurance products to countries and risk transfer services through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets to countries and other entities in Africa.
According to the announcement, the funding – which stems from the 11th EDF Intra-ACP Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme – will support the ARC’s efforts to strengthen disaster risk financing and insurance responses to the impact of natural disaster hazards in Africa to ensure its member states can better protect their vulnerable populations against climate-induced disasters and outbreaks and epidemics.
UN ASG and ARC Group Director-General Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, commented: ““We are extremely grateful for this funding from the EU as it will enhance our efforts to support our member states to ensure that we are able to provide world-class solutions at a time like this when the climate crisis is demanding attention.
“As we celebrate our decade of existence as an African-Union-mandated organisation, we recognise the tremendous contribution and support received from the EU and are looking forward to building a stronger partnership to the benefit of the African people.”
Carla Montesi, Director for Green Deal and Digital Agenda, Directorate-General for International Partnerships at the European Union Commission, said that strengthening disaster risk financing responses to the impact of natural hazards is one of the strategic priorities of the EU cooperation with African countries.
Montesi said: “Through ARC, our programme will facilitate continued support to African governments in strengthening their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to effects of natural hazards related disasters.”
Additionally, computer giant IBM and the ARC also announced at a special event at COP 27, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the capacity of African governments to respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters through advanced climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies.
According to the announcement, under the MoU, both institutions will work together to leverage IBM’s Environmental Intelligence Suite (EIS) and advanced AI and geospatial analytics technologies.
IBM will support ARC to modernise its risk infrastructure by leveraging next-generation data automation, cloud, and artificial intelligence technologies to address data accessibility and modelling, critical problems in climate change; secondly, it help to develop and/or enhance climate risk analytics models; and to develop and deploy new climate informatics capabilities for climate risk products.
“IBM is proud to partner with African Risk Capacity Group and other like-minded institutions to mobilise the roles of science, technology and strategic collaboration to mitigate pressing climate challenges,” said Solomon Assefa, VP at IBM Research. “By utilising the latest in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud and quantum computing, we can effectively mitigate fragmented approaches to climate science and ultimately ensure a more sustainable future across Africa and the globe.”
Cheikh Diong commented: “This formalised partnership with IBM Corporation is a testimony of our commitment to develop an enhanced forecast-based anticipatory approach and leverage each organisation’s expertise to build the capacities of our member states to combat weather-related disasters when they strike.”