Breaking News: Okonjo-Iweala elected chair of African Union risk agency

Posted by News Express | 25 April 2013 | 3,122 times

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Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been announced as the first Chair of the Governing Council of African Risk Capacity, a continental financial climactic disaster risk management agency.

Her appointment comes at a time when Africa is facing the spiraling challenges of natural disasters caused by global warming.

ARC is a specialised agency of the African Union which supports African states to mitigate the severe social and economic impact of extreme weather conditions through a structured insurance system.

“By deploying innovative technology based on satellite weather surveillance and software run by independent risk professionals, the ARC will help African governments plan better for emergency situations, manage them efficiently, greatly reduce response time and ensure sufficient distribution of resources to disaster areas,” said Paul C Nwabuikwu,

Special Adviser to Okonjo-Iweala.

Reacting to the development, the immediate past World Bank managing Director expressed her delight at the honour. She described the ARC as a timely and innovative African response to the increasing challenges brought on by extreme weather conditions which deserves the support of all Africans.

Her words: “Not only can we predict extreme weather conditions, with a well-managed risk fund we are prepared to address them and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our communities receive protection.

“The ARC will support the governments of its member state to manage response programs effectively. And ensure that they have resources to meet natural disasters head-on.”

Okonjo-Iweala added that ARC is a structured response which will help governments in Africa stop the bad practice of moving resources away from critical areas during periods of emergency.

The key objective of ARC is to ensure that the climate risk the continent is facing is controlled so that it does not negatively affect economic growth and social development.

Partners who supported the creation of the ARC Agency include The Rockefeller Foundation, the UK’s Department for International Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Dr. Richard Wilcox, interim Director-General of the ARC, said: “The launch of the ARC agency harnesses pan-African solidarity in approaching climate risk in a financially efficient way. Welcomed by the G8 last year, ARC is a critical step for African governments moving from managing crises to managing risks.”

Also reacting, C.D. Glin, Associate Director at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office, said: “ARC represents a great example of our support for programmes that seek to find new ways of meeting the dynamic challenges of a developing continent, and improving outcomes for poor or vulnerable people.”

•Photo: Okonjo-Iweala.

Source: News Express

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