The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly

32nd Ordinary Session High-Level Side Event Hosted by African Risk Capacity, African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa
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32nd Ordinary Session High-Level Side Event Hosted by African Risk Capacity, African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa

The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) will be held on 10 and 11 February 2019. It will be under the theme “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.” This session presents the opportunity to explore and showcase African innovative mechanisms, which address the underlying causes of migration, notably natural disasters and extreme weather events.

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One of such innovative mechanism is the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency. A Specialized Agency of the AU, that was established in 2012 to help Member States better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and other natural disasters, thereby protecting the food security and livelihoods of their most vulnerable populations. With ARC, the AU has set the pace at the continental level by convening African leaders to establish an institution that can deploy innovative mechanisms that respond to the growing impact of natural disasters and extreme weather events on the continent. In its first four years of operations, the ARC insurance mechanism has triggered over US $36 million to countries in the Sahel and Southern Africa to provide timely assistance for over 2.1 million people and 900,000 livestock affected by extreme droughts.

In an effort to scale up the protection against extreme weather events in rural areas, the African Development Bank (AfDB) took the leadership to design the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Facility (ADRiFi), a programme that will expand access to ARC’s risk transfer facilities for African Union Member States.

The proposed high-level side event will highlight the interdependency between migration, food security and climate change. Based on experience from AU Member States, ARC will be explored as a mechanism to address the underlying risks and causes of climate-induced migration and displacement in Africa. The event will also showcase how African institutions’ partnerships can bring complementarity in addressing the challenges associated with the causes of migration.