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Why invest in resilience?

Resource type
Policy brief

Why does resilience matter?

Malawi has long experienced extreme weather events. In the 30 year period from 1979 to 2008, the country experienced more than 40 weather-related disasters, including dry spells, seasonal droughts, intense rainfall, riverine floods and flash floods, and their frequency is increasing.

This policy brief from the BRACC Knowledge and Policy Hub and the Civil Society Network on Climate Change, Malawi finds:

  • The costs of extreme weather events (droughts and floods) in Malawi are rising and undermine development gains.
  • Climate change means that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events will continue into the future, with negative economic impacts accelerating after 2050. 
  • Investing in resilience creates a triple dividend: avoided losses, development and co-benefits. 
  • It is cost-effective: benefit-cost ratios for resilience investments can give returns from 3 to 1 to 50 to 1.
  • Investing in resilience will allow Malawi to meet its development goals through sustaining and maintaining ecosystems for improved performance of key sectors, including agriculture, tourism, energy and wildlife.
  • Investing in resilience has a positive contribution on building human resource capital for addressing 21st century challenges.

Recommendations for resilience investment in Malawi  

  • Operationalise the National Resilience Strategy, including by clarifying coordination with the National Climate Change Management Policy and National Disaster Management Policy.
  • Operationalise and capitalise the Climate Change Management Fund and a budget line for proactive Disaster Risk Reduction activities, to be designed with recognition of the opportunities for the second and third dividends of resilience.
  • Scale up disaster risk financing and social protection mechanisms to create the safety net necessary to encourage more active investment at individual and collective levels.
  • Ensure that Vision 2063 integrates climate risk and exploits opportunities for the triple dividends of resilience.
  • Ensure that the one million jobs created are green jobs that contribute to environmental restoration whilst providing decent income generating opportunities to Malawians.