Earth Observations for Disaster Risk Financing

Disaster Risk Financing

The cost of disasters is increasing. Population growth, increasing concentration of assets, and climate change are increasing exposure, hazards, and losses. Developing countries typically lack financial protection against the impacts of these disasters and rely on ex-post measures to attempt to meet financing needs.

Disaster risk financing (DRF) can increase the ability of national and local governments, homeowners, businesses, agricultural producers, and low-income populations to respond more quickly and resiliently to disasters by strengthening public financial management and promoting market-based disaster risk financing.

The role of EO in DRF

The implementation of Disaster Risk Management and the rapid response financing in the wake of a natural disaster, requires a deep knowledge of the environmental situation, the potential affected areas, infrastructure and people. Risk financing solutions require a clear understanding of risk and reliable triggers. Triggering mechanisms need to be known, transparent, objective and consistent over time and for this reason, and in order to ensure the availability of contingency funds for a large variety of scenarios to be covered, it is necessary to make use of satellite images in a combined and complementary way with in situ observations.

EO based services deliver essential information to evaluate the status of preparedness, to define measures to enhance the disaster prevention or about situation analysis of an event for an efficient emergency response.


Disaster Risk Financing and Transfer

The Project: e-Drift (Disaster RIsk Financing and Transfer), financed by ESA and led by CIMA Research Foundation (IT), aims exactly at improving the performance of the EO products and determine a fully automatic and reproducible way to service such products. In addition, the project also aims to create a strong network between providers of value-added services utilizing EO data, In-Sector service providers for the insurance market and reinsurance companies with the final purpose to create new or improved products and solutions for the Insurance sector.

The e-Drift project consortium includes leading companies in the EO value adding, and leading actors in the insurance market. And concentrates as a pilot study area on South East Asia, more specifically on Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

The e-Drift Virtual Platform enables an easy and timely access to various services and products guaranteeing high computing capability and direct access to the EO datasets of the Sentinel constellation. Services will cover several key areas of interest of the insurance market and of Countries that would like to transfer their sovereign risk. The e-Drift Virtual Platform will be released as a PAAS, so that can be embedded in the IT systems of the In-Sector Providers, and as a SAAS, so that can be used by In-Sector Providers by a unique and KISS End User Interface.

The virtual platform is heavily based on already existent platforms and SW that have been developed and tested throughout the years the key ones being: WASDI providing middleware and backend services, RASOR providing libraries for the impact computations, ESA Urban TEP and ESA GPOD providing computing services and products.

eDrift services fields of application

Case study: The SEA DRIF platform

The perfect application for the eDrift services

Developing countries, such as many South-East and South Asia countries with middle-low incomes, typically lack financial protection against the impacts of disasters and rely heavily on ex-post measures, such as donor assistance, in order to meet their financing needs.

In March 2017, the World Bank commissioned the development of a web system to support a rapid flood financing response in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia. The project, named “South East Asia Flood Monitoring and Risk Assessment for Regional DRF Mechanism” led by Deltares (NL) has resulted in an IT platform able to estimate the number of people affected by a flood, by a combination of real-time models, EO data and ground observations. The combination of diverse types of input data for a rapid estimate of flood impact is considered highly innovative and responds to the demand from World Bank country clients to be provided with technical and financial tools and means to manage emergencies and save lives.

SeaDrif platform mw-65