Need realistic disaster risk financing facility for farmers


Myanmar is bearing the brunt of climate change-induced disasters every year. The after-effects of such disasters are there for all to see. For instance, Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May, 2008, led to a huge loss of lives and property. The repercussions of the cyclone are being felt to date.
Natural disasters brought on by climate change are hard to predict. And their frequency and severity has been on the increase. In addition, natural disasters are borderless: a natural disaster in one country becomes a challenge to its neighboring country.
With disasters getting stronger and causing more devastation year by year, disaster management has become crucial for the Union Government, especially in the agricultural sector.
The need of the hour is an insurance system which can help rehabilitate farmers in disaster-hit areas within a short period of time.
The agriculture sector has time and weather constraints. Any system aiming at rehabilitation and recovery within a short timeframe should be systematic and must be able to tackle hindrances to the socio-economic development of farmers. To quickly respond to disasters and bring about quick recovery of disaster-hit people, the Emergency Management Centre has adopted some Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
These issues are being handled by Myanmar in cooperation with ASEAN nations. The Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), which will be implemented in Myanmar at a cost of US$116 million, is one of the five projects related to disaster risk management in Southeast Asia.
Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the region’s first disaster risk financing facility with Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, and Singapore at the ASEAN+3 Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting in December, 2018 in the Republic of Korea.
The SEADRIF will act as a regional platform to provide ASEAN countries with insurance and re-insurance solutions and technical advice to increase their financial resilience to climate and disaster risks.
By supporting pre-disaster planning and post-disaster relief and reconstruction funding, the facility aims to protect people and their livelihoods while contributing to ongoing economic development and poverty reduction.
To ensure the insurance system meets with success and is sustainable, suggestions and advice on policy and procedures should be pragmatic and realistic on the ground level.
Meanwhile, cooperation from the private sector, in line with the law and rules, is sine qua non for implementing the system, which guarantees rights and benefits to farmers.

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