World Food Programme: Moving beyond Disaster Response to Risk Management

There are 795 million hungry people in the world. The large majority live in Asia and Africa. They very often live in degraded, fragile, and shock-prone environments, with an alarmingly low asset base. Environmental degradation, resource scarcity, climate change and price volatility, together with other risks, make food and nutrition security a hard goal to accomplish. Increasing levels of risk have resulted in repeated needs for humanitarian emergency response to address the impacts of climate and other shocks. Shifting towards more comprehensive efforts to build resilience and manage risk is critical to achieving food security in these areas.

WFP works with governments, international partners and local communities to develop new tools and innovations that help communities improve their capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from climate-related disasters, so that food security is no longer an elusive goal.

WFP’s priority actions in this area include:

African Risk Capacity (ARC) Replica Policies. WFP is transforming the way we assist vulnerable communities to cope with natural disasters shifting from disaster response to risk management. Countries themselves need to own and manage their disaster risk first and foremost. To this end, WFP helped the African Union create a sovereign disaster insurance pool, the African Risk Capacity (ARC), in 2012. 32 African states adhere to the ARC treaty, insuring their natural disaster risk for close to US$300 million.

For countries having demonstrated their long-term commitment to this mutual insurance system by renewing their policies for the third year running, WFP will help scale up their national disaster management programme by taking out matching policies, replicating the countries’ own efforts (Replica). In so doing, WFP aligns its financing and operational response with the government-led efforts, doubling the coverage available to vulnerable populations. The ARC and WFP jointly can reach the Elmau G-7 Climate Insurance targets of 180 million people protected in Africa by 2020. By 2030, WFP aims to have insurance finance for half its overall natural disaster aid expenditures in Asia as well as in Africa.

The Food Security Climate Resilience (FoodSECuRE) Facility is a multilateral, multi-year, replenishable fund being developed by WFP to financially and programmatically support community-centered action to reinforce and build climate resilience. This groundbreaking instrument specifically links climate and hazard forecasting with flexible multi-year financing, providing governments the means to quickly unlock funding to scale-up food and nutrition responses as well as disaster risk reduction activities before climate disasters occur.

FoodSECuRE will: i) trigger action based on climate forecasts, to reinforce community resilience before shocks occur; ii) complement early response mechanisms, and iii) provide multi-year financing to deliver high-quality resilience-building activities that are undertaken during post-disaster recovery operations.


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