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"More Proactive" Disaster Insurance Gaining Support

When disaster strikes in Africa, humanitarian aid can take months to reach people on the ground. By then a lot of damage may have been done. During a drought, for example, small-scale farmers facing a sequence of harsh dry seasons may sell their cattle and pull their children out of school.

A quicker response could minimize the long-term effects of such a crisis.

To address the problem of slow response to disasters, international development practitioners are advocating for “resilience building,” a term that refers to efforts to help communities brace for extreme events before they happen.

The goal is “to move away from disaster response and shift the conversation to one that is more proactive,” says Dolika Banda, a Zambian economist who was recently named chief executive officer of African Risk Capacity, Limited (ARC Ltd).

“The continent needs to move from an ex post humanitarian response to ex ante preparation and disaster management plans,” says Ms. Banda.


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