The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) board has approved a grant of $2.1 million to boost Mauritania’s resilience against climate-related shocks and food insecurity.
The funds, sourced from the African Development Fund, will go to provide technical and institutional support to strengthen the country’s capacity to assess climate-related risk.
The bank is extending the funding under its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRIFI) programme to enable the country to take out a drought risk index-based insurance policy that is expected to cushion Mauritania’s economy against the impacts of drought-related shocks, at a moment when the country is also reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” said Atsuko Toda, AfDB’s director for Agriculture, Finance and Rural Development.
Mauritania, a Saharan-Sahelian country, experiences irregular rainfall pattern and repeated drought, which has a profound effect on food production and incomes. In 2017, 28% of the total population were food insecure.
The project will have three components: development of climate risk management solutions; supporting access to disaster risk transfer mechanisms; and programme management and coordination.
The bank explained that advancing climate risk management solutions will be done in two ways:
- Building in-country capacity to understand drought risk and implement contingency plans;
- Collecting more precise agro-climatic data for use in calibration of index-based insurance.
Technical staff and policymakers will receive capacity building training that will help the country model its drought-related disaster risk more effectively.