Zambia has received $5.3 million from African Risk Capacity Group and African Development Bank to help in its recovery from extreme drought witnessed in 2021/2022 agricultural season.

The payout which is the result of drought insurance taken out by the Government of Zambia under the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme Multi-Donor Trust Fund which is supported by the Governments of the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

 This million dollar payout will enable the country to carry out much needed emergency response activities in communities affected by drought, through the provision of cash transfers and food assistance to ensure food is available for the targeted households during the lean season period.

While receiving the payout cheque, Zambia’s Acting President, Mutale Nalumango, stated that the funds would help the government to meet the relief and livelihood reconstruction requirements of the most vulnerable households impacted by the 2021/22 drought.

She also expressed gratitude that her government, through the Ministry of Finance and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), took up insurance as a mitigation measure against drought.

The adverse impacts of climate change has caused droughts in Zambia in 2021 and 2022. Substantial lack of rain impacting crop production resulted in severe food insecurity in districts in the southern and western parts of the country.

The Government of Zambia had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Risk Capacity Group to participate in the 2021/2022 drought risk pool to better deal with the drought and protect vulnerable populations from its adverse impacts. The Zambian Government made a premium budgetary allocation from its national budget and sought additional premium financing support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation and the African Development Bank to maintain the insurance policy for the 2021/22 agriculture season.

“We are extremely honoured by the trust vested in us by the Government of Zambia. We are confident that this payout will assist the country in supporting its affected population to recover from the effects of the drought and prevent them from resorting to negative coping mechanisms,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and ARC Group Director General, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong.

Speaking at the payout ceremony,  AfDB Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford, lauded the efforts of The African Development Bank in seeing this African Risk Capacity Group payout to Zambia coming into realization. “We expect this to be the beginning of continued support to help the country enhance their resilience to the shocks of climate change. The Bank’s support has brought assistance to farming communities hit hard by drought and poor crop yields, by enabling Zambian authorities to provide them with cash payments and sustaining them from eating their seeds as food, quitting farming as livelihoods, or migrating in search of food and non-existent jobs,” she said

“ARC offers an African solution to one of the continent’s most pressing challenges, the shocks of climate change, transferring the burden of climate risks away from governments to ARC through sovereign insurance,” said Dr Abdoulie Janneh, ARC Group Deputy Board Chair.

This payout comes at a time when Senegal’s president and Chairperson of the African Union , Macky Sall  recently called to action towards increased support for the African Risk Capacity’s resource mobilization and fundraising campaign. In his address in Malabo during the AU Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit, in May, Sall showcased the tangible impact Africa Risk Capacity has had to member states over the last decade in protecting millions of people on the continent against natural and weather related disaster.

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