The COVID-19 pandemic is having a large negative impact on all economies given the health shock, global economic slowdown, and the impact of domestic containment measures. The outcome is people and firms are far more vulnerable to other shocks, such as droughts, storms, floods, given they are less financially secure and in some areas already suffering from food insecurity and conflict.
With government fiscal stimulus spending soaring, revenues falling, and future credit potentially restricted, the fiscal capacity to respond to these other shocks is constrained. It can be easy to deprioritize financial preparedness for future risks but the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted that countries that were better prepared acted earlier and have so far fared better.
The social protection sector provides important lessons for managing future risks. Linking risk financing to shock-responsive safety nets, as Kenya and Uganda have done and as Malawi, Sierra Leone, and countries across the Sahel are planning to do, can be a game-changer for resilience. These same principles can be used to strengthen the shock-responsiveness of other critical sectors, such as health, nutrition, and education services, or integrate ‘financial shock absorbers’ into vulnerable economic sectors.
The World Bank supports developing countries to develop shock-responsive financial planning and build resilience against future shocks through its Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Program (DRFIP), implemented by its Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance team.
The proposed webinar will discuss the following questions:
Dr. Olivier Mahul leads the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program, a joint program between the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and supported by donor partners. The Program provides advisory services on financial protection against natural disasters in more than 50 countries, mainstreaming disaster risk financing and insurance within the broader disaster risk management and climate change adaptation agenda in developing countries. The Program offers financial solutions on sovereign disaster risk financing, property catastrophe risk insurance, agricultural insurance, and disaster-linked social protection, in close collaboration with the private insurance and reinsurance industry.
Since he joined the World Bank in 2003, Olivier has been involved in developing disaster risk financing and insurance solutions in more than 40 countries including Colombia, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Mexico, Philippines, etc. Olivier was closely involved in the product development of the World Bank CAT DDO, a contingent credit line that provides World Bank member countries with immediate budget support in the aftermath of natural disasters. Since its launch, the CAT DDO has been approved for several countries such Colombia, Costa Rica and the Philippines, for a cumulative amount in excess of US$1.3 billion. Olivier is one of the key architects of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, which provides 16 Caribbean island states with parametric insurance against major natural disasters. He has also co-led the establishment of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Program, which provides 6 Pacific island countries with parametric catastrophe insurance.
Olivier holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Toulouse School of Economics and post-doctorates from Wharton Business School and University of California at Berkeley. Olivier has authored more than 40 publications in international journals and two books: “Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries: Principles for Public Intervention” (with J. David Cummins) and “Government Support to Agricultural Insurance: Challenges and Options for Developing Countries” (with Charles Stutley).
Evie is a Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group where she has worked globally on disaster risk financing.
Key activities include leading policy dialog and developing customized financial solutions with Ministries of Finance to improve their financial resilience to disaster shocks; leading the development of analytical tools which support Ministries of Finance in their selection of financial instruments, including insurance, to protect their fiscal position against disaster risk, and; developing disaster risk financing for scalable safety net programs, which looks to develop mechanisms that enable social protection programs to rapidly increase assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable under disaster conditions.
Prior to joining the Bank, as a qualified actuary with experience of insurance and investment projects in the public and private sector, Evie worked at KPMG and the UK Government. She also worked as a statistician analyzing social research before completing the actuarial qualification. As an actuary at the UK Government Actuary’s Department, she advised government departments on how to better understand and communicate uncertainty, perform quality assurance, and manage their contingent liabilities.
Evie holds a First-Class Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Statistics both from the University of Bristol.
Lindsey Jones is a researcher working on issues related to adaptation, disaster risk reduction and resilience. His background is in international development and environmental geography having worked for ODI, UNDP, WFP, and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture And Food Security (CCAFS). His main areas of research interest include: understanding and measuring adaptation and resilience; promoting the uptake of climate services to support decision-making; and evaluating the effectiveness of climate interventions and policies. Lindsey has considerable experience working in East and Southern Africa as well as South Asia.
Sophie is a specialist in risk, climate and innovative financing, having led strategic global projects from within the private sector for partners including governments, multilaterals, and international corporates.
Within the Centre leadership team Sophie is responsible for leading the Centre’s operational work in low and middle income countries.
She has a BSc in International Relations and Politics from Oxford Brookes University, an MA in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London, and completed her legal qualifications in 2017.