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How disaster risk finance can link with social protection

Maximising the effectiveness of shock response

Zoe Scott; contributions from Veronika Bertram (KfW), Stefan Beierl (GIZ), and Johanna Knoess (GIZ/KfW)

How Disaster Risk Finance Can Link With Social Protection


In the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of a marked increase in climate crisis-related disasters, there is a growing interest amongst governments in the topic of disaster risk financing . The authors of this paper, which is part of the SPACE series ‘Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice’, suggest that disaster risk financing should be linked to countries’ wider social protection systems to ensure that these can provide Shock-Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) when they need it.

The paper presents and explains in some detail three ‘rules of thumb’ for those who are interested in linking their disaster risk financing approach or instrument with social protection so that the opportunity to reach people effectively is maximised:

  1. Be selective: think carefully about what to scale up.
  2. Be collaborative: design the financing and the SRSP together.
  3. Be prepared to take baby steps: SRSP may be a longer-term goal.

The authors conclude that there is still much work to be done to realise the potential benefits of speeding up emergency response by using social protection. However, they believe that by incorporating first steps into Operational Plans for Disaster Risk Financing will help the world to get closer to providing reliable support to vulnerable communities via pre-arranged SRSP.

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