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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed as the first chairperson of the Governing Council of African Risk Capacity (ARC), a continental financial climactic disaster risk management agency.

A statement from the Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu yesterday, explained that the ARC is a specialised agency of the African Union (AU) which supports countries in the continent in mitigating the severe social and economic impact of extreme weather conditions through a structured insurance system.
It stated that by deploying innovative technology based on satellite weather surveillance and software run by independent risk professionals, the ARC is expected to help African governments plan better for emergency situations, manage them efficiently as well as in ensuring sufficient distribution of resources to disaster areas.

Reacting to the development, Okonjo-Iweala who expressed delight over the appointment, also described the ARC as a timely and innovative response to the increasing challenges brought on by extreme weather conditions in the continent

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

Reacting to the development, Okonjo-Iweala who expressed delight over the appointment, 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.
“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,” she said.
She added that ARC is a structured response that would help governments in Africa to stop the bad practice of moving resources away from critical areas during periods of emergency.
The major 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 that 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.

The Interim Director-General, ARC, Dr. Richard Wilcox, 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.”

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