Friday, September 26, 2008

Swiss Re and Oxfam launch joint risk management initiative in Tigray, Ethiopia

Some great coverage for a colleague of mine, still at my former employer, Swiss Re. From ReliefWeb: Swiss Re and Oxfam America have announced a joint Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2008 meeting in New York on 23 - 26 September. The collaboration is aimed at helping communities most vulnerable to climate variability and change. The project focuses on an innovative pilot project to introduce weather insurance for a staple cereal crop in the village of Adi Ha, Tigray Regional State, Ethiopia. Drought-related risks are a primary concern throughout Ethiopia where 85% of the population is dependent on smallholder, rain-fed agriculture. Adi Ha is a drought-prone community that has expressed strong interest in incorporating insurance into its risk management strategy.

The pilot will adopt a holistic approach to risk management, examining the suitability of weather insurance and risk reduction measures such as seasonal forecasting and improved agricultural practices. All efforts will be undertaken in close collaboration with the local farming community with the overall objective of alleviating poverty. The efforts will be funded by Swiss Re and Oxfam America, with primary technical support being provided by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University. Ivo Menzinger, Head of Sustainability & Emerging Risk Management, commented, "Swiss Re is delighted to support Oxfam in implementing this fundamental and important work in the Tigray Province. In particular, we can combine our commitment to corporate citizenship with providing consulting support to the project on risk transfer issues."…

A typical landscape of Tigray region, Ethiopia near the archaeological site of Yeha, shot by Jialiang Gao, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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