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Sub-Saharan Africa

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Bringing Weather Insurance to East Africa

Tens of thousands of farmers and livestock herders in East Africa will soon have access to a financial product that might one day save their businesses -- weather insurance.

IFC's Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF) recently signed its first partnerships in Africa to expand access to insurance to about 35,000 farmers and 5,000 herders in Kenya and Rwanda over the next three years.

Backed by the European Union and Netherlands, the facility will work in a number of emerging markets with an initial focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, where farmers and agricultural workers make up 60 percent of the workforce but most cannot find crop coverage.

Three Partners

At a recent signing in Nairobi, Kenya, IFC conferred grants totaling roughly $4.1 million from the GIIF trust fund on three partners in Africa -- the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture; the International Livestock Research Institute; and MicroEnsure.

The grants will fund advisory activities, including local capacity building, infrastructure development, product development, and development of local insurance companies’ capacity to provide index-based insurance products.

Bernard Rey, Head of Operations European Union Delegation to Kenya, said, “The implementation of these three first GIIF projects in Kenya and Rwanda will support the development of new insurance products and will increase expertise in this field, which will benefit smallholders and livestock keepers affected by climatic events.

Protecting their Assets

The availability of weather insurance should have a significant impact on farmers in emerging markets, protecting them against the effects of climate change, which is predicted to intensify droughts, hurricanes, and floods.

If farmers can protect the value of their assets – the crops and land – they can more easily earn the money needed to provide food, education, and medical care for their families.

They will also enjoy improved access to finance to expand their businesses, since banks and other financial institutors are more willing to lend to farmers who are insured.

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said at the Nairobi signing, “These partnerships highlight IFC’s commitment to expanding insurance and other financial products where they are needed most in Africa. GIIF will facilitate farmers’ access to credit, leading to increased productivity, improved livelihoods and greater food security.

For more information contact:

Jason Hopps
Communications Officer
Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 731 3120


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