Multi-hazard risk assessment for disaster risk reduction and financing in Madagascar



As much as 25% of Madagascar’s population faces a high mortality risk from natural hazards – the third most exposed country in Africa. Cyclones occur almost yearly, affecting on average some 250,000 people and causing damages of US$50 million per event. Droughts, with a frequency of 1 in 5 years, affect some 450,000 people per event, and famines, floods, pest infestation and epidemics remain a recurrent problem. Contrary to trends in many countries, there is evidence that reported mortality due to natural disasters has increased in recent years. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of these events.

A fundamental constraint in dealing with these problems is the lack of adequate data on hazard risks and impacts, and detailed projections of climate change. Although communal schools and health centres are built according to cyclone standards, roads, bridges, and irrigation infrastructure are not, requiring significant rehabilitation costs in the wake of disasters. Adaptation measures for agriculture and coastal management remain incipient, and the innovative risk transfer mechanisms, such as catastrophe insurance, have not been explored.

Through a systematic risk assessment and modelling, this project aims to produce relevant and sound information on hazards and climate change in support of ongoing activities in risk management, risk financing and climate change adaptation. It will thus support the implementation of the Government of Madagascar’s new policy emphasising prevention and catastrophe management. The identification and modelling of risks will provide critical information needed as a prerequisite for the transfer of risk through innovative financial mechanisms such as weather-based contracts and catastrophe insurance.


The primary objectives of this work are:

  • To quantify and model natural hazard risk for Madagascar in an objective fashion that will represent a scientific and numerical basis to inform sector-specific risk management practices and policy, disaster risk reduction, and risk transfer.
  • To produce solid and validated climate change impact scenarios that will enable local stakeholders to make informed decisions on adaptive measures to climate change.
  • To produce a risk model for Madagascar that will inform the decisions and development of more effective risk financing options.

Expected outputs

A rigorously performed risk assessment for the primary natural hazards is expected to result in:

  • A sound scientific basis for the national policy dialogue on disaster risk management, disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation.
  • Enhanced capacity of key local entities (in particular the national disaster response units and the meteorological service) to perform risk analysis and to process and disseminate hazard information.
  • A solid second communication to the UNFCC that outlines sector-strategies for climate change adaptation and incorporates disaster risk reduction.
  • A scientific and numerical analysis of natural hazards in Madagascar that provides a basis for weather-based contracts with local insurers and international re-insurers.


  • World Bank’s Commodity Risk Management Group
  • National emergency response system partners, local development funds, Care International, Catholic Relief Services, UNDP, the World Food Program
  • African universities
  • Reinsurance companies

The risk information produced will also feed directly into the GRIP.


Linkages with other ProVention initiatives

The work is well-aligned with the follow-up work to the report “Natural Disaster Hotspots: A global risk analysis”, which provides a global baseline analysis for natural hazards, and complements the activities proposed under the GRIP, supported by ProVention. In addition, the activity proposed for ProVention support on climate risk management mainstreaming in the Philippines comprises similar efforts to develop risk information for that country. It is envisaged that the two activities could generate information that could inform the other – in particular given the similarities in the two countries; each involving large islands, agricultural based economic activities, and vulnerability to significant climate oscillations.

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