Nairobi, Kenya, December 2, 2009—
IFC, in partnership with the European Commission and the Netherlands’
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today launched a program to help farmers and
others in developing countries more easily access insurance for natural
disasters to protect themselves from weather-related risks. IFC is a member
of the World Bank Group
The Global Index Insurance Facility is an index-based insurance scheme
that insures against certain catastrophic events, depending on their severity.
For example, insurance will be paid out in the event of a wind storm
of a certain category, or an earthquake registering a certain magnitude
on the Richter scale.
Index-linked insurance products eliminate the need for insurance companies
to individually verify claims, reducing transaction costs and making it
easier for them to offer products and services in rural communities and
in frontier regions, where insurance is rarely available.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said,
“The Global Index Insurance Facility will help protect farmers and vulnerable
communities against natural disasters that can wipe out their livelihoods
and trap them in poverty.IFC is committed to helping extend financial products
and services to places where the private sector is at the early stages
of development, creating more opportunities for people that need them the
The facility is backed by an advisory services and capacity building program
that will provide substantial funding to raise the capacity of insurance
companies to provide index-based insurance, help develop such products,
and work to create a favorable regulatory environment by advising governments
on possible regulatory changes.
The European Commission has committed €24.5 million as the first donor
to a trust fund to finance the advisory services support. The fund is also
supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Bernard Rey, Head of Operations of the European Union Delegation to Kenya,
said, “As the threats posed by climate change increase, the Global Index
Insurance Facility will help people in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific
regions reduce their vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters
and thereby support their livelihoods."
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively
on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging
markets. Along with IBRD, IFC is currently seeking a capital increase to
strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing
countries—including helping farmers and others access insurance.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.