UK, Germany to provide $20 million to boost risk financing for communities vulnerable to climate shocks

A Samburu woman fetches water in Loolkuniyani Primary School, Samburu county, Kenya on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. /CFP
A Samburu woman fetches water in Samburu County, Kenya. /CFP

The United Kingdom and Germany on Wednesday agreed to provide the World Food Programme (WFP) with 20 million U.S. dollars to support the expansion of WFP’s climate and disaster risk financing cover in 23 countries across the globe.

The money should help protect up to 4.6 million people from climate risks over the next two years.

The WFP hailed the initiative as one that underscores the importance of investment in climate action to protect vulnerable communities when disasters strike.

“The financial protection that climate risk insurance provides means more lives saved, livelihoods preserved, infrastructure protected and communities empowered. Having predictable financing ready when climate impacts materialize is crucial in supporting farmers and communities to minimize climate-induced losses and damages,” said Ute Klamert, WFP Deputy Executive Director.

The UN agency said the disaster risk finance policies purchased by WFP through this contribution will complement those purchased by governments, increasing the number of people protected and strengthening responses so vulnerable people can be reached more quickly.

It added that the funding will also support WFP’s contribution to the goals of the newly announced Global Shield Against Climate Risks, an initiative of the G7 and V20 to scale up protection for climate risks before a crisis occurs. This includes early warning systems, preparedness plans and financing systems that include insurance schemes as well as social protection systems.

On its part, the World Bank pointed out that through such funding, the world could help shield vast populations around the world from the impacts of natural disasters.

“We estimate that by 2040, over 130 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by climate change,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations.

“Access to disaster risk finance and insurance solutions for low-income countries is part of the World Bank’s strategy for helping them adapt to the growing risks of natural disasters. We will contribute to the Global Shield initiative through our analytical and advisory work, policy dialogue and country lending operations.”