Egypt to launch first natural disasters insurance pool in 6 months

Egypt is planning to launch its first ever insurance pool against nature disasters in the next six months, head of the country’s insurance federation announced on Thursday.

The pool will help the North African country better respond to losses from risks of nature disasters and hazards.

The Insurance Federation of Egypt’s (IFE) chairman Alaa El-Zoheiry said the federation would invite soon the insures to take part in and commit to the anticipated pool.

The Egyptian federation has also invited CCR Re, one of the biggest public-sector reinsurers operating in France with coverage against natural catastrophes and uninsurable risks, to take part in the pool, El-Zoheiry added.

Egypt is exposed to a variety of natural hazards, including coastal and river floods, earthquakes, rockslides, sand storms, and water scarcity, according to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a grant-funding mechanism, managed by the World Bank.

Over the last 20 years, natural hazards have killed nearly 1,500 people, with estimated economic damages of $346.7 million, GFDRR said. In 2009, a rockslide buried an informal settlement south of Cairo, killing dozens of people and causing severe damage to infrastructure. The following year, heavy flooding displaced thousands of people, with over 4,000 houses damaged or completely destroyed.

According to GFDRR, climate change is expected to increase the potential impact of hazards. Most of Egypt’s population and infrastructure are concentrated in the Nile Delta and along the Mediterranean coast, making the country vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, particularly inundation and saltwater intrusion.

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