Zurich’s Flood Resilience Alliance Extended to Generate Additional Funding of $1B

Zurich Insurance Group announced that after five successful years its flood resilience alliance will be extended until 2023.

In the last five years, a multi-sector alliance comprising the non-governmental organization (NGO) sector, academia and Zurich’s risk management experts has focused on shifting from the traditional emphasis on post-event recovery to pre-event resilience, Zurich said, noting that more than 110 communities in nine countries have benefited from alliance projects and investments in flood resilience.

During the next five years, the alliance will focus on the following objectives:

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  • Generating US$1 billion in additional funding for flood resilience
  • Encouraging effective public policy in support of flood resilience
  • Developing sound practices and policy support for flood resilience
  • Measurably enhancing flood resilience in vulnerable communities across the world.

Flood resilience continues to have trouble gaining wide acceptance and is held back by a lack of investment, said Zurich, citing the ClimateWise Investing for Resilience report, which says that US$175 billion in economic losses from natural hazards in 2016 (of which floods were a major part) only US$50 billion were insured.

This US$125 billion protection gap is due in part to the lack of evidence of “what works” and because there are few incentives and regulations to encourage investments into sound protection measures at all levels of society, Zurich explained.

“Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses,” said Linda Freiner, group head of Sustainability.

“By using Zurich’s risk expertise as a global insurer, we can help customers and communities reduce the devastating impacts of floods – even before a flood hits – and build resilience to this disaster. We will work with our partners to drive US$1 billion into building resilience to floods globally – and save lives,” she added.

Alliance members aim to achieve the financial target by rolling out best-practice community programs that will prove the value of resilience-building. The partners will generate and share knowledge about the existing and future achievements to encourage various stakeholders to invest in resilience.

Zurich is working with the NGOs Concern Worldwide, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC), Mercy Corps, Plan International and Practical Action as well as research partners International Institute for Applied Systems and Analysis (IIASA), the London School of Economics and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET).

Michael Szönyi, Flood Resilience Program Lead, said: “By building flood resilience we understand how a community, system or society can pursue its development and growth objectives while managing flood risk in a way that benefits them all. The members of the flood resilience alliance provide a credible critical mass of expertise across sectors and geographies to demonstrate, inform and inspire global stakeholders and decision-makers to invest in flood resilience.”

Further information is available about Zurich’s flood resilience program on its web portal.

Source: Zurich Insurance Group

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