African Risk Capacity Programmes in Zambia and Zimbabwe


This programme will contribute towards strengthening national systems for disaster preparedness through support to drought insurance premiums and capacity building. Switzerland is thus consolidating its engagement in climate change mitigation and disasters risk reduction with the aim to sustainably minimize risk to loss of lives and assets for vulnerable men and women. The Africa Risk Capacity, a specialized agency of the Africa Union, will implement this programme. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Climate change and environment
Governance

Disaster risk reduction DRR
Domestic revenue mobilisation
Meteorological services
01.11.2021 - 31.10.2026
CHF  7’300’000
Background

Over the years, Zambia and Zimbabwe have experienced several climate induced disasters resulting in significant negative social and economic impacts. These disasters are expected to increase in frequency and severity. Droughts pose the greatest risks to both countries which heavily depend on rain-fed agriculture for improving the welfare and food security of their population and boosting their economies. Women, who are over-represented in subsistence agriculture, are particularly affected, as they can be victims of gender-based violence as a result of a disaster, and see increases in the burden of their unpaid work, including providing care, water and food for households.

Both the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments have been making efforts to create permanent response mechanisms to deal with climate shocks. These efforts have been constrained by lack of financial and human resources to implement policies and frameworks.

The Africa Risk Capacity, a special agency of the Africa Union, provides an opportunity for governments to improve their capacities to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters in a gender responsive manner.

Through its long-term support to successful disasters risk reduction initiatives in Southern Africa, Switzerland has become a prominent and trusted partner in this sector and is thus well positioned to contribute to the Africa Risk Capacity programme in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Swiss private sector – Swiss Re and Zürich Insurance – contributes to the African Risk Capacity with expertise and capital.

Objectives To build Zambia and Zimbabwe’s resilience against climate related shocks and better equip them to manage the impacts of natural disasters on the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in a timely manner. 
Target groups

The immediate beneficiaries are the policy-makers and technical specialists involved in the natural disaster risk management and finance systems of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The indirect beneficiaries are at least 2 mio vulnerable, food insecure people in these two countries indirectly insured, including 750,000 (50% women) through SDC support, who receive more timely and effective assistance in the event of natural disasters.

Medium-term outcomes

1.    Increased budget allocation by the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments to ARC drought insurance pool 

2.    Improved disaster risk management and preparedness that are gender responsive in  Zambia and Zimbabwe

Results

Expected results:  

-    At least USD 3.5 mio drought insurance premiums paid for Zambia and Zimbabwe annually with an increasing share coming from the governments;

-    Disaster risk management and financing frameworks developed for both countries;

-    Monitoring and evaluation plan for disaster risk management developed in both countries;

-    Expansion of preregistered beneficiaries under the national social protection programmes;

-    Pilot study on the use of technology and innovation to enhance beneficiary targeting mechanisms completed.


Results from previous phases:  

-    2 mio people in Zambia and Zimbabwe indirectly insured through the African Risk Capacity’s insurance policies in 2020;

-    USD 1.4 mio payout received by the government of Zimbabwe in 2020 that benefited 155’000 men and women, out of 7.7 mio people affected by drought (2%) due to limited coverage.

In Zambia, capacity building support started in 2018. Still, the disaster risk financing programme is in its infancy. Support through the African Risk Capacity coming from some funding sources is hindered by the country’s classification as a middle income country. Zambia’s first participation in the drought insurance risk pool was in 2020 and included a USD 0.2 mio government contribution.

The Africa Risk Capacity programme in Zimbabwe is more developed. Capacity building started in 2015 and participation in the drought insurance risk pool began in 2019. In 2020, the government contribution reached USD 0.5 mio. Zimbabwe received a first payout for the 2019/20 drought.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • World Food Programme


Other partners

Drought insurance: Africa Risk Capacity Limited

Capacity strengthening: Africa Risk Capacity Agency and WFP

Coordination with other projects and actors

Projects supported through the Swiss Embassy in Harare: R4 Initiative, SADC Regional Vulnerability Assessment & Analysis Programme and upcoming social protection programme.

Head Quarter: Global Programme Food Security, Humanitarian Aid

Other donors to ARC programmes in Zambia and Zimbabwe: KfW/BMZ and WFP.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’300’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’440’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   14’600’000