Habitat Deal Sees Insurers Drive African Resilience

Lloyd’s re/insurers have announced a new partnership aimed at furthering greater global resilience.

Lloyd’s Charities Trust has launched a new disaster resilience partnership with Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, as part of the market’s ongoing response to emerging risks and the challenges they pose to communities around the world.

The partnership will encourage a Lloyd’s market wide approach to help fulfil Habitat for Humanity’s goal of a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. The partnership will focus on the joint vision to create braver and more resilient communities in climate risk areas.

Vicky Carter, Chairman of Global Capital Solutions, International at Guy Carpenter and trustee of Lloyd’s Charities Trust said: “Sharing risk is central to the work of the re/insurance sector and the Lloyd’s market. This is an incredibly exciting partnership for us as the charity responsible for driving disaster resilience initiatives on behalf of the market. With a wealth of knowledge and intelligence in our market around climate related risks and mitigation to share, it is a natural fit for us to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build the resilience and coping capabilities of the most vulnerable communities.”

Habitat for Humanity Great Britain is keen to utilise Lloyd’s and the re/insurance sector’s expertise in natural hazard risk modelling and mapping to help them develop new tools and models. In particular, expert advice on flood risk reduction strategies will enable the most vulnerable communities to build their capacity to successfully tackle flood threats.

Tum Kazunga, (pic) CEO at Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, added: “This new partnership with Lloyd’s Charities Trust is an important step toward helping communities prone to natural disasters build their resilience, and help us as an organisation respond even more effectively.

“East African coastal communities, including, as we’ve seen in the case of Cyclone Idai, landlocked countries like Malawi, are increasingly at risk from the growing frequency of tropical cyclones. With Lloyd’s Charities Trust support, we will be able to not only rebuild but to also train these communities and help them to become more resilient to flooding. These training programmes are designed to support communities, local authorities and other stakeholders to prepare, withstand, and recover from future disasters.”

A key component of the new partnership is funding a project in Malawi’s Chikwawa District that was affected by severe flooding and devastation from Cyclone Idai in March 2019.

The project will analyse why certain communities choose to live in flood-prone lowland areas, and the best way to improve the resilience of these communities to future disasters. The report will help Habitat for Humanity and other disaster response organisations respond to future disasters more effectively and will be applicable to other regions that are affected by similar natural disasters.

The Malawi project will also provide access to community rescue hubs for more than 20,000 individuals; giving local families access to training sessions and materials to ‘disaster proof’ their homes. They will also function as emergency shelters for 36 families, reducing vulnerability in the region. Collaboration with local communities and authorities and capacity building is key to the success of disaster preparation and this is the heart of what we will do.