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DRR Co-Chairs Mathieu Verougstraete, Resilient Infrastructure and Finance for Resilience Lead, UNDRR; Saoirse Jones, Head of Insurance Development Forum Engagement, Zurich Insurance Group; and Shaun Tarbuck, CEO, ICMIF (International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation) shine a spotlight on the momentum behind the IDF DRR Taskforce and the beneficiaries in vulnerable communities. 

In a world where disasters and the impact of climate change relentlessly challenges socio-economic stability, the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Task Force remains steadfast in its mission to reduce and mitigate climate and disaster risks for vulnerable communities. As co-chairs of the DRR Task Force, we are proud to share our latest implementation update, highlighting the significant progress made in enhancing DRR and showcasing the tangible and scalable impact achieved so far.

At the beginning of 2023, we defined our strategic priorities and operational plan, focusing on practical initiatives to promote DRR. Our objectives include promoting DRR as a complement to protection gap solutions to increase resilience of vulnerable communities, integrating a DRR lens into IDF programs, , and emphasising the pivotal role of disaster risk reduction in maintaining insurability and investability of countries, businesses, communities and public assets.

 

Awareness, Education, and Communication

Our commitment to raising awareness about the importance of DRR within the insurance industry is gaining momentum. We actively engaged with IDF working groups, partners, and stakeholders to highlight the industry’s potential in fostering actions to prevent disasters and mitigate their impacts. 

This includes speaking engagements at various forums and conferences, including as theme lead for the COP28 Resilience Hub on Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Action. We also hosted awareness sessions designed to showcase practical DRR mechanisms that insurers can implement to foster risk reduction and risk prevention. 

A landmark achievement was the successful completion of Phase 1 of IDF’s Anticipatory Action and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative. This initiative, in collaboration with MapAction and the Start Network, strengthened geospatial data capabilities in seven climate-vulnerable countries, empowering local communities to anticipate and respond to humanitarian emergencies more effectively.

Anticipatory Action and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative

The Anticipatory Action and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative exemplifies our dedication to proactive disaster management. By partnering with MapAction and the Start Network, we significantly enhanced the capacity for anticipatory action and DRR in eight countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Madagascar, the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. This initiative aligns with our commitment to the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP).

Through timely funding and support from IDF members, we also facilitated critical decision-making information for Start Network members, enabling them to better prepare for and respond to emergencies. The success of this initiative set the stage for a significant scale-up; with plans to expand our reach and impact through additional humanitarian partners and funding from the German Foreign Office.

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Quotes:

“The addition of MapAction to the INFORM Partnership, and specifically their contribution to

technical capacity for subnational risk assessment using INFORM Subnational, has led to a step change in INFORM’s ability to provide technical support for partners across the globe. MapAction brings unique skills and ways of working that allow us to respond more quickly and dynamically to requests for support on subnational risk analysis that is having immediate impact on the availability of risk information at country level. Furthermore, we expect there to be a lasting legacy in terms of risk analysis capacity in governments, multilateral and civil society organisations, that will contribute to humanitarian and development planning and crisis preparedness and anticipation.”

Andrew Thow, Programme Management Coordinator, INFORM

“I’ve been a volunteer with MapAction for 15 years and have been involved in disaster response activities and capacity building and training. I know how important our work is. I’m lucky to be part of Aon and its Impact Forecasting team. The firm has helped fund some of this work, and has also helped me personally, to enable me to volunteer and deploy. Last year in February I assisted MapAction personnel and the United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) team in response to the earthquakes which hit Turkiye and Syria. In 2022 I also took part in information management training in Kazakhstan, and earthquake search and rescue training in Ankara, Turkiye.”

Chris Ewing, Head of Business Development – Impact Forecasting, AON

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Capitalising on Synergies and Integration

Our efforts to integrate DRR thinking and mechanisms into various IDF programs have yielded fruitful collaborations. Notably, we have engaged with the IDF SHS Working Group and ISF to understand how to incorporate DRR awareness into concept note development under the Tripartite Programme. Additionally, we worked with the RMSG and GRII to develop resilience investment analysis case studies, which were included in the Resilient Planet Data Hub (RPDH), launched at COP28. 

We also collaborated with the Infrastructure Task Force to embed disaster resilience and risk reduction into infrastructure blueprint criteria, ensuring that principles for resilient infrastructure are integrated into fund screening processes.

Standard Setting and Measurement

In 2023, we  launched the “Insurance Development Forum member DRR Mechanism Benchmarking” initiative, extending the ICMIF/UNDRR framework for DRR mechanisms across IDF members. This benchmarking initiative aims to measure how DRR mechanisms are integrated into business practices, providing a robust framework for insurers to foster risk reduction and prevention.

Our framework outlines seven key mechanisms for insurance companies to reduce disaster risks, covering both direct and indirect approaches. These mechanisms include variable pricing of insurance, prerequisites and exemptions to incentivise risk reduction, investment in resilience-building, raising awareness of systemic risks, sharing capacity and technology for risk analysis, promoting local social capital for disaster response, and collaborating with the public sector to support DRR and risk-informed investment.

Looking Forward

We are committed to continuing our integration of DRR into applicable Tripartite country programs. We will further engage with the Infrastructure Task Force to embed climate resilience criteria, expand the DRR industry benchmarking initiative, and develop Phase 2 of the Anticipatory Action and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative. 

Monitoring the impact of DRR through these various initiatives ,and leveraging our momentum, will be key to our ongoing advocacy for DRR as a means to increase climate resilience.

The journey towards a resilient future requires collective action and unwavering commitment. As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by climate change, the Insurance Development Forum Disaster Risk Reduction Task Force remains dedicated to shift the dialogue on climate resilience and adaptation to include a focus on risk prevention and mitigation, so that we can reduce vulnerability and protect the insured. Together, we will strive to create a more resilient and prepared world for all. 

We extend our sincere thanks to all members of the Task Force for their unwavering support and dedication. The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Guy Carpenter, Renaissance Re, Nick Moody (representative of the RMSG Working Group), Symmetry Solutions/ClimateWise, UNDRR, Zurich Insurance, and our new member organisations AXA Climate, Marsh McLennan, and SCOR have all played pivotal roles in advancing our DRR work.

Date

30th May, 2024

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