Posted on: Sun, 12/03/2023 - 13:43 By: ARC-Comms
South Sudan signs the African Risk Capacity Establishment Agreement

 

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has taken a significant step in enhancing its climate-induced disaster preparedness and response capabilities by signing the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Treaty. In an era where climate change is taking a major toll on the lives and livelihoods the African population, South Sudan’s move to sign the Treaty goes to secure the country’s sustainable development.

The signing ceremony, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was attended by South Sudan Government Officials, including Ambassador Dr. Riek Puok Riek from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Dr. Banak Joshua Dei Wal from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management. ARC was represented by Mr. Bright Mando, Senior Legal Counsel and Board Secretary and Mr. Koffi Konin, Head of Government Services for East and Southern Africa.

Over the past few years, South Sudan, which is vulnerable to various natural hazards such as floods, droughts, and climate-related epidemics, has been facing some socio-economic challenges which are compounded by the impacts of climate change. In January 2023, recognising the need for effective Disaster Risk Reduction strategies, the country began engaging ARC to explore new approaches to strengthen its national Disaster Risk Management efforts.

In addition to being a signatory to the ARC Treaty, South Sudan is planning to sign the ARC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the margins of COP28 to be held in November 2023 in Dubai. South Sudan aims to collaborate closely with ARC to better plan, prepare, and respond to climate risks. The signing ceremony demonstrates the Government’s commitment to building resilience and reducing its vulnerability to climate-related risks.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Ambassador, Dr. Riek Puok Riek underscored the significant step towards alleviation of poverty and strengthening capacities across different sectors in a country besieged by weather-induced hazards. South Sudan's engagement with ARC was driven by the need for proactive strategies to address drought and flood risks, which pose significant threats to the national economy.

South Sudan becomes the 39th Member State to sign the ARC Establishment Agreement, giving it access to ARC’s products and tools towards strengthening its Disaster Risk Reduction capacities. The country seeks to utilise its resources efficiently to assist vulnerable populations in the face of climate disasters. The signing of the ARC Treaty and MOU establishes a framework for cooperation that includes training support to relevant government institutions, and the country’s potential participation in ARC insurance risk pools covering droughts, floods as well as outbreaks and epidemics.

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, ARC Group Director-General lauded South Sudan's commitment to Disaster Risk Reduction and its decision to become an ARC Member State. “ARC is ready to work closely with the Government of South Sudan and other stakeholders in this space to fully understand the country’s exposure to natural disaster risks and design an effective response strategy that reflects the needs on the ground. Together, we can intensify our effort and complement existing strategies.” Towards this end, he also emphasised the need for a pooled-risk approach and collaboration through smart partnerships.

By joining ARC, South Sudan joins other African Union Member States that have access to ARC's tools and resources in climate response. The ARC Group, comprised of ARC Agency, a Specialized Agency of the African Union (AU), and ARC Limited, the insurance affiliate of the Group, offers capacity building, contingency plans, risk profiling and risk pooling services as its value proposition. Its mandate from the African Union is to work with AU Member States to help them plan, prepare, and respond to climate threats.

This partnership will also allow South Sudan to benefit from the African Climate Risk Insurance Facility (ACRIF) project, an African Development Bank initiative designed to enable effective response to climate change. Under the ADRiFi umbrella framework, the project aims to support resilience activities and enhance disaster response capacities in South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, and Comoros, providing timely assistance to respond to disaster impacts.

The participation of South Sudan in the ARC mechanism and its eligibility for the ACRIF project opens new avenues for building resilience, ensuring the safety and well-being of the population, and promoting sustained socioeconomic development.

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