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Experts: Insurance Vital But No Magic Bullet

More developing countries urgently need insurance to cushion their farmers against weather extremes that can worsen poverty, but it is no magic bullet to ward off the escalating impacts of climate change, experts say.

The burning question of how to stop drought becoming a major crisis - especially in Africa - has caused many to eye insurance as a possible answer.

"People think sometimes that insurance is the solution for everything. It is not correct," said Mohamed Beavogui, director general of the African Risk Capacity, an African Union agency that helps states plan for natural disasters and climate change, and provides them with insurance through its company, ARC Limited.

"Insurance is ... (for) when you have done everything you can and there is still a risk you cannot cover," said Beavogui.

Planning for those risks - such as the number of people a government would be unable to help in a crisis - is vital, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As climate change bites harder, bringing with it worse droughts and floods, demands on donors' purse strings are likely to grow, and experts say development gains - especially in Africa - are at risk of being rolled back.

Daniella Van Leggelo-Padilla/World Bank

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