Friday, October 21, 2011

USAID-Swiss Re partnership targets hunger, natural disasters

Swiss Re: USAID and Swiss Re today announced a three-year partnership to help vulnerable communities fight hunger, build resilience to climate change, and reduce the costs of natural disasters in the Americas, Africa and Asia.

With better access to customized, market-based insurance products, poor farmers and their families will be better able to prepare for and cope with the impacts of the droughts, floods and other severe weather events that are predicted to become increasingly common as the climate changes. When farmers have better instruments to manage risk, they can more easily obtain the loans needed to invest in technologies that increase their yields and productivity, and have greater incentive to make those investments, knowing that they are buffered from extreme weather events.

...“Private sector involvement is crucial to USAID’s efforts to reduce poverty and foster long term economic development in the countries where we work,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “Swiss Re has been an industry leader in the development of innovative new products to address weather related risks. We welcome this opportunity to join forces to develop affordable, market-based tools to reduce climate vulnerability in poor communities.”

...“Building insurance capacity in developing countries is a critical step to limiting the vulnerability to extreme weather events that impact so many livelihoods,” said Walter Bell, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation. “Swiss Re’s innovative solutions, combined with USAID’s technical expertise and extensive development experience, will bring advanced risk management solutions to the communities who need them most.”

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