Anticipatory action partnership with MapAction and Start Network will initially focus on eight catastrophe-exposed nations

The Insurance Development Forum (IDF), a public-private partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by the UN, World Bank and other international organisations, has announced a trilateral partnership with MapAction and Start Network, to accelerate anticipatory action and disaster risk reduction in eight climate-vulnerable countries.

The countries so far signed up to benefit from the initiative are Bangladesh, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal and Zimbabwe. The programme, which started in 2021, is planned to run until 2023.

The programme will deliver geospatial and information management services to help Start Network members to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to humanitarian emergencies with the right information for critical decision making. The aim is to enable anticipatory action and disaster risk reduction work through timely funding. 

Michel Liès, chairman, Zurich Insurance Group, and deputy chair of the IDF Steering Committee, said: “As with any initiative of this nature, funding plays a crucial role, and thankfully, the collaborative efforts of IDF members will enable work to be carried out through timely funding to help reduce risks, and vitally, to provide local communities with the tools they need to prepare and plan for damaging events.”

Christina Bennett, CEO of Start Network, said: “Through risk and knowledge pooling, we know we can help save lives and livelihoods at a reduced cost, while empowering communities to make decisions about their own futures.  Start Ready is based on this goal; it is a structure for innovative crisis financing mechanisms to deliver more effective and locally led global humanitarian action.  

”Over the years, we have found that humanitarian crises, from floods and cyclones, droughts and pandemics, tend to occur in regular patterns. As the re/insurance sector knows well, the data and technology exist to manage these risks at an aggregated level, and pilot projects have proved the benefit of anticipatory action.

”Now, with the collaborative efforts of MapAction together with the IDF members and their funding support, it is hoped we can build a shared financial infrastructure to ensure these funds go so much further.”