Mauritania receives US$2.1m grant from AfDB to bolster resilience against climate related shocks

MAURITANIA – The Islamic Republic of Mauritania has received a US$2.1 million grant from the African Development Bank to boost the country’s resilience against climate related shocks and food insecurity.

AfDB in a statement revealed the funds were sourced from the African Development Fund and that it was extending the funding under its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) program.

ADRIFI in addition to providing African countries assistance in paying risk premiums, enhances the management of natural disaster risk by strengthening national capacities.

Other countries in Africa that have implemented ADRiFi programmes include Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Gambia.

According to AfDB, the funds, will go to provide technical and institutional support to strengthen Mauritania’s capacity to assess climate-related risk and enable the country to take out a drought risk index-based insurance policy.

The insurance policy to be taken by Mauritania is expected to cushion the country’s economy against the impacts of drought-related shocks.

“The African Development Bank is pleased that ADRiFi Mauritania will provide efficient and timely first-response delivery to targeted beneficiaries in communities that will be affected by disasters, and will strengthen resilience to drought-linked disasters in Mauritania.”

Atsuko Toda – Bank Director for Agriculture, Finance and Rural Development.

As part of the grant, AfDB will provide capacity building training to Technical staff and policymakers that will help the country model its drought-related disaster risk more effectively.

Mauritania, a Saharan-Sahelian country, experiences irregular rainfall pattern and repeated drought, which has a profound effect on food production and incomes.

Data from Africa Development Bank indicates that in 2017, 28% of Mauritania’s total population were food insecure, this number is projected to significantly rise in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture.

The drought risk index-based insurance project will have three components: development of climate risk management solutions; supporting access to disaster risk transfer mechanisms; and programme management and coordination.

According to AfDB, advancing climate risk management solutions will be done in two ways: building in-country capacity to understand drought risk and implement contingency plans; and collecting more precise agro-climatic data for use in calibration of index-based insurance.

Under component two, ADRiFi will provide funding for payment of 50% of the insurance policy premium for years 2020 and 2021 as well as support resource mobilization to establish a food crisis response mechanism.

The final component concerns overall coordination and monitoring of activities which will be carried out by the country’s Food Security Commission (CSA).

Mauritania’s risk insurance policy will be held by African Risk Capacity agency, a partner of the AfDB Bank on the ADRiFi programme.

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