Climate Change and Humanitarian Response | RedR UK Speaker Series 2018

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Climate change plays a significant role when it comes to environmental disasters. The scale and magnitude of such events are increasing and hit the most vulnerable people hardest.

With support from Corporate Partner XL Catlin, RedR UK hosted a panel discussion which examined the impact of climate change on humanitarian response from 3 different perspectives; from the field, through academic research and in relation to the insurance sector. 

Climate change in South Sudan

Francesca O’Hanlon has worked as a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) engineer in Mexico, India and with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in South Sudan. In 2016, she founded Blue Tap, a Cambridge-based social enterprise that uses 3D printing to create accessible water purification technology. Francesca shared her experiences from the field of the impact on climate change on rural areas in South Sudan. 

It is not only conflict that has an impact on people living in rural areas in South Sudan, they are also being affected by the change of the rainy season, Francesca explained. Traditionally, the rainy season in South Sudan occurs from April to October, but it has recently started to begin much later, in June or July. The increasingly unpredictable nature of the weather means that traditional ways of reading the climate are no longer accurate. This affects local agriculture and livelihoods significantly.  

Watch Francesca's presentation below:

RedTalks | Climate Change and Humanitarian Response - Impacts on Communities

The Role of Insurance

Through funding and partnerships with organisations and governments the insurance sector enables programmes for recovery after disaster strikes. Insurers are very aware of the impact of climate risks and investment in climate research helps to increase understanding of the risks and enables people to prepare for the future and create more sustainable programmes.

Claudia Thyme is the Director of Emerging Markets Development at XL Catlin. As a global insurance and reinsurance company, XL Catlin has a commitment to help close the protection gap: the scale between the actual damage and the coverage of loss. Insurance can put people back on their feet when disaster strikes but it also funds private enterprise to create resilience and security. Claudia explained how insurance influences protection in disaster and how it can build resilience:

RedTalks | Climate Change and Humanitarian Response - Insurance and Reinsurance

Think of a woman in a developing country who has become a widow and needs to buy a sewing machine to earn a living and support her kids. A lot of these human enterprises are actually made possible because of the protection and the funding and security that insurance provides.

Claudia Thyme

Director of Emerging Markets Development at XL Catlin

Question and Answer

A Q&A session following the presentations gave the audience the chance to engage with the speakers directly and resulted in a wide variety of different questions and a positive exchange of knowledge and opinions.Topics ranged from the importance of Monitoring and Evaluation in humanitarian response to the relationship between the humanitarian and insurance sectors. Watch the full Q&A session below: 

RedTalks | Climate Change and Humanitarian response - Question and Answer

New Webinar Speaker Series

RedR UK is currently organising a webinar speaker series which will kick off in September 2018. The online speaker series will enable global knowledge sharing and capacity building for the humanitarian sector. The first topic will be ‘Renewable Energy in Humanitarian Response’. To sign up for a free place, please click here