Freetown Mayor Aki-Sawyerr speaks at World Bank’s Climate Disaster Risk Finance Summit

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 June 2024:

The World Bank Group, in partnership with the Global Shield against Climate Risks, University of Oxford, and the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) convened a flagship event for the climate and disaster risk finance and insurance community from June 11- 14, 2024.

The summit seeks to give visibility to innovative solutions and offer practical insights into lessons from implementation to inspire, foster new ideas, and catalyze positive action.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was invited to participate in an opening panel to share the experience of Freetown City Council in responding to the numerous climate related disasters (e.g. flooding and landslides) and fire disasters that impact Freetonians.

In the absence of affordable and available insurance products, Freetown City Council has mobilized resources on a case by case basis, from development partners, philanthropists and own source revenue, to rebuild homes (e.g. in Kroo Bay and Portee communities), provide cash transfers (e.g. Wellington and Mount Aureol) and to provide relief items such as food, medical kits and school items.

However there is always a response gap because in the absence of insurance and/or a dedicated disaster response fund, FCC’s responses are invariably insufficient and in many instances no response is possible at all.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr emphasized the need for the Loss and Damage Fund announced at COP28 to be resourced and operationalized in a manner that provides insurance premium funding for those in developing countries that are most at risk of climate disasters and who have contributed the least to the global climate change crisis.

After her panel submission, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr met with fellow Climate Resilience for All (CRA) board member Emma Howard Boyd and CRA’s CEO Kathy Baughman-McLeod to talk through a proposed risk financing product for extreme heat for Freetown, specifically focused on women. We are very excited about the prospect of designing and making this insurance product available to female market traders within the coming months.


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