Financial coping of natural disasters was the focus of the latest ASEAN Course on Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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The Strategic Alliance on Climate Risk Transfer Solutions has hosted an ASEAN Advanced High-Level Course on Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance from 20th to 22nd November in Bangkok, Thailand. In response to the menace of natural disasters, most recently seen by such events as Mangkhut and the Japanese floods in June, this course came at a critical time for the ASEAN member states.


Given the topic of climate change and the continuous economic development of the region, Ex-ante risk financing for natural disasters becomes ever more interesting and lucrative for many ASEAN member states. It represents an option to ensure their developmental achievements, delivers them a guarantee for quick recovery after major disasters, and highlights active political engagement and policy-making in regards to climate perils. This opinion was equally shared among the experts and the participants of the course.


The ASEAN Advanced Course is the fourth trip of the Strategic Alliance to the Southeast Asian region, having previously hosted the Executive Consultation and Capacity Building Seminar for Asian Government Representatives in Jakarta 2016, the ASEAN High-Level Course on Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance in Manila 2017, and most recently a stakeholder meeting in Jakarta 2017. The Advanced High-Level Course is therefore the current conclusion of a series of initiatives undertaken by GIZ and Swiss Re to strengthen the climate resilience in the ASEAN region.


In its last installment, the Course aimed to enhance the knowledge of governmental officials of the ASEAN member states on sovereign risk transfer schemes. The course was split in a mandatory and optional part, whereby all of the participants took the liberty to attend the optional part as well. As a sequential learning experience, the Course addressed first the basics of disaster risk financing and risk assessment. In the later stages, it explored concrete disaster risk transfer instruments, the risk transfer markets available, and the legal, regulatory, and data requirements for implementation. In a World Café session and three plenum sessions, the participants learned about the best practices around the world and in the ASEAN region.


Next to the educational presentations and discussions, the Course heavily emphasized the interaction and participation of all attendees during its daily Working Group sessions to stimulate the learning experience and allow for the extensive involvement of the participants. The core objective was to jointly develop individual national roadmaps to later champion the topic going forward in the respective member states.


Currently most of the ASEAN member states rely on ex-post disaster risk financing, most prominently displayed in the form of disaster relief funds. Only about half of the ASEAN member states have domestic or sovereign risk pools, or facilitate government sponsored schemes. Low insurance penetration in the ASEAN region hereby contributes to a significant protection gap of natural disasters.

To find out more about the Advanced High-Level Course and take a look at the course's materials, please visit:




Asia Catastrophe risk management Climate Change Disaster Risk Finance Finance Insurance Risk Pool