20 September 2017Insurance

African Risk Capacity launches outbreak & epidemic parametric insurance

The specialised agency of the African Union African Risk Capacity (ARC) has launched an outbreak & epidemic (O&E) insurance for African governments.

The product aims to deliver rapid and targeted funds for detected outbreaks, an intervention that studies have shown can result in a more contained outbreak.

After having built an insurance and support model to protect millions of lives and livelihoods against the impact of drought and extreme weather, ARC was called upon by African Finance Ministers to develop a similar program to cope with disease challenges. Such diseases include Ebola, meningitis, yellow fever, dengue fever, SARS, MERS, Marburg virus, and smallpox.

Robert Kwame Agyarko, ARC’s lead advisor for O&E, said “This launch marks an important step in a programme that has the potential to provide our continent with meaningful support and progress in controlling and minimizing the damage done by disease outbreaks. We cannot afford to wait until after disaster strikes – Africa must prepare, and we must invest in saving lives.”

“Africa is under the threat of infectious diseases like Ebola and Marburg that can take hold and spread viciously, endangering lives and seriously harming security, the economy and public order,” he continued.

“Had Ebola been identified and the response begun two months earlier, the total number of deaths could have been reduced by 80 percent. We can never allow that to happen again. Together with all our partners, we will be able to establish the effective and sustainable solutions Africa needs.”

ARC is currently beginning its pilot phase for O&E, with Guinea and Uganda to be the first two countries in which the programme is offered. ARC will be working with Metabiota and Health Systems Consult Limited (HSCL) to design the pilot with the ministries of health of Guinea and Uganda.

ARC was established in 2012 as a specialised agency of the African Union to help member states better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC works with countries to reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa’s populations by providing sovereign disaster risk insurance and other support, including capacity building, contingency planning, and access to early-warning technology.

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