The flood resilience alliance led by Zurich Insurance Group has been extended until 2023, with new five-year objectives including the generation of US $1 billion in additional funding for flood resilience programmes.
The multi-sector alliance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academia, and risk management experts has already provided post-event recovery support to 110 communities in nine countries over the last five years.
However, because current resources are limited, the alliance now plans to shift its focus to building pre-event resilience through additional investments.
Zurich claims that flood resilience has thus far been hindered by a lack of research and funding, suggesting that the annual $125 billion U.S flood protection gap could be significantly reduced if more investments were encouraged through incentives and regulations.
In addition to generating an additional $1 billion in flood resilience funding, the alliance’s five-year objectives include encouraging effective public policy; developing sound practices and policy support; and measurably enhancing flood resilience in vulnerable communities across the world.
“Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses,” said Linda Freiner, Group Head of Sustainability at Zurich.
“By using Zurich’s risk expertise as a global insurer, we can help customers and communities reduce the devastating impacts of floods – even before a flood hits – and build resilience to this disaster. We will work with our partners to drive USD 1 billion into building resilience to floods globally – and save lives.”
Alliance members aim to encourage investments from various stakeholders by rolling out best-practice community programs that will demonstrate the value of resilience-building.
Zurich expects to collaborate with NGOs such as Concern Worldwide, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mercy Corps, Plan International, and Practical Action.
Research partners will also include the International Institute for Applied Systems and Analysis (IIASA), the London School of Economics, and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET).
Michael Szönyi, Flood Resilience Program Lead, commented: “By building flood resilience we understand how a community, system or society can pursue its development and growth objectives while managing flood risk in a way that benefits them all.
“The members of the flood resilience alliance provide a credible critical mass of expertise across sectors and geographies to demonstrate, inform and inspire global stakeholders and decision-makers to invest in flood resilience.”