The Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has signed the Treaty and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to work together towards helping the country better prepare, plan and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters. The ARC Treaty and MoU were signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Hon. Khadija Mohamed Diriye, the country’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management.
Somalia’s exposure to both drought and flood risks further threatens the national economy; requiring pre-emptive disaster risk reduction strategies to improve multi-hazard early warning, preparedness, and national coordination for disaster response. In this context, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management initiated an engagement with ARC in September 2018 to explore ways of diversifying existing disaster risk management approaches, particularly, through a sovereign and parametric insurance mechanism.
In her official statement, Hon. Khadija M Diriye, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Federal Republic of Somalia, said that ”Somalia’s hazard profile is dominated by droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, desert locust, diseases (epidemic/pandemic), and terrorism that disrupt people’s livelihoods, destroy the infrastructure, divert planned use of resources, interrupt economic activities and retard development.”
Increasingly, it is recognized that hazards are linked. “The impacts of natural hazards do not occur in isolation, but recognition of such cause and effect on a national scale has encouraged the Government of Somalia in taking on a paradigm shift from crisis management to risk management. This will enable us to utilise our finite resources in a more efficient and timely manner towards assisting vulnerable populations in the event of disasters. Therefore, we are proud to sign the ARC Establishment Agreement, as its 35th Member, as well as the MoU, with a strong commitment to taking the necessary steps to ensure that the collaboration leads to the building of our national response capacities against the adverse impacts of natural disasters.” Hon. Diriye concluded.
The signing of the MoU will set out the terms, conditions, and a framework to facilitate cooperation between ARC and FGS to address the impact of extreme weather events, including providing training support to Government personnel as well as preparing Somalia’s potential participation in future ARC (drought/flood/tropical cyclone) insurance risk pools.
Commending the Federal Government of Somalia for signing the ARC Treaty and MoU, the UN-ASG and ARC Group-Director General, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong remarked: “As the nature and intensity of natural catastrophes evolve across the region, we maintain that the continent will be better protected through a pooled-risk approach bringing together countries and leveraging smart partnerships. Today, the ARC Group proudly welcomes the Federal Republic of Somalia as its 35th Member State. By simultaneously signing the ARC Treaty and MoU, the Government (of Somalia) has demonstrated a clear commitment to strengthening the country’s disaster risk reduction capacities; and thereby joining a growing number of African Union Member States that are accessing our tools to create coordinated contingency plans before catastrophes strike.” Continuing, Mr. Diong added, “We would like to particularly convey our readiness to work with the (Somalian) Authorities in accurately profiling their natural disaster risks and designing quantified response plans to better secure the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the event of a peril.”