“Resilience Bonds”: Secret Weapon Against Catastrophe

Urban disasters highlight need for resilience in Africa

Rising disasters in Africa’s cities and their links with poverty and rapid, unplanned urbanisation are ever more apparent from tragedies such as the recent rubbish dump landslide in Addis Ababa, which killed at least 113 people.

Tackling urban risk will be a key issue when governments and a broad range of other stakeholders, including businesses and tech experts, meet in two weeks’ time in Mexico for the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The 50-year Reppi dump in the Ethiopian capital is believed to have housed hundreds of people who spent their days scavenging for food and items for resale. Though the dump…


“Resilience Bonds”: Secret Weapon Against Catastrophe

Water from the Gulf of Mexico floods Highway 23 in Hurricane Isaac-hit Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana August 31, 2012. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac trudged north on Thursday and U.S. Gulf Coast residents started to mop up and assess damage, even as much
Resilience bonds could help places vulnerable to natural disasters, like Mexico, better prepare for catastrophe – not just help clean up after it. (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

In a conference room overlooking downtown Miami, British executives are talking about why they know south Florida’s streets so well. It isn’t because of the sunshine. It’s because of the area’s risk for disasters like hurricanes and flooding.

“There are hundreds of my colleagues… who know the zip codes of these counties in this part of the world almost as well as the residents here,” says Rowan Douglas, head of capital, science and policy at the London-based risk management group and insurance broker Willis Towers Watson. “This area of the world is protected to some degree by a global community of everyone…



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