The IPC-IG and WFP jointly organised a webinar on Adaptive Social Protection and Urban Resilience
The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), the World Food Programme (WFP) Mozambique Country Office and the WFP Regional Office for Southern Africa jointly organised the webinar “Adaptive social protection and urban resilience: Developments in cities of Mozambique and Madagascar”.
Hosted by the socialprotection.org platform on 3 November 2022, the webinar reflected Southern Africa’s current context of high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, compounded by low economic growth and high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. At the same time, the region is experiencing rapid urban population growth, which is mostly characterised by people living in precarious conditions and informal settlements.
These challenges were intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected the region: “COVID-19 has made clear to policymakers the value of having strong social protection systems in place, that are capable of reaching immediately affected households, but has also shined a light on the enabling and the constraining elements that affect the ability of governments to leverage social protection systems.”, stated the moderator, Ms. Arianna Francioni, Urban Preparedness Project Coordinator at the WFP Regional Office for South Africa.
Mr. Abdulremane Chaca, Director of Resilience from Pemba Municipality, shared his experience in facing disasters and managing resilience in the coastal city, which is suffering due to rising sea levels and floods. Some of the main strategies to increase urban resilience highlighted by Mr. Chaca include expanding the coverage of social protection programmes—focused primarily on the most vulnerable populations—and strengthening the most exposed communities, so that they can readily recover from shocks.
Legal mechanisms at the local level also bolstered Pemba’s shock response, such as the Municipal Contingency Plan (Plano de Contingência Municipal) and the Standard Emergency Guide and City Vulnerability Maps (Guia Padrão de Emergência e Mapas de Vulnerabilidade da Cidade).
In turn, Mr. Mandresy Rakotoarison, Director of International Cooperation and Communication at the Commune Urbaine of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, talked about the city’s experience in facing COVID-19 crisis and the cyclone that affected the island earlier this year. While the pandemic response relied on ongoing strategies such as cash transfers—with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)—support to the homeless population and the elaboration of a contingency plan, the cyclone response was mainly based on building temporary shelters. From the lessons learned, Mr. Mandresy pointed out that it is crucial to have reliable data on population profiles to coordinate policies.
To better integrate policies, regional initiatives are extremely important. One such example is the Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DiMSUR), a subregional non-profit organisation (NGO) based in Mozambique that works with urban resilience and planning sustainability. “We are talking about a region with the same hazards, the regional political and financial planning is centralised (...), we have (…) the same culture (...), and, at the end of the day, this is a region where we have a very strong commercial interaction (...); this is why we have to respond in a regional strategy”, declared Mr. Nuno Remane, DiMSUR Director.
The event was also an open space for dialogue between interested parties and functioned as a learning exchange. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the panellists, who were able to respond based on their national experiences. The webinar was held in the context of the project “Support the World Food Programme (WFP) in generating evidence on shock responsive social protection in Mozambique”, a collaboration between the IPC-IG and WFP to generate evidence on shock-responsive protection in Mozambique.
The event had simultaneous interpretation in Portuguese and English, and the recordings are available on YouTube.