Pacific’s first anticipatory action pilot insurance scheme to provide Fijian farming groups with funds to better prepare for cyclones

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Asia and Pacific United Nations Capital Development Fund
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The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), with local insurer, Sun Insurance Company Limited, are bringing to the market a new insurance product to help farmers in Fiji better prepare for cyclones, reduce loss of lives and damage to crops, livestock and other assets.

The lack of insurance cover to meet the needs of agricultural associations before and after disasters exacerbates financial losses in one of the most climate-vulnerable regions of the world.

In a first for the Pacific region, this new scheme will provide farming groups with insurance cover against tropical cyclones, with payments triggered and paid out before damage occurs based on early warnings, such as wind speed, and weather forecasts.

The goal is to provide these communities with timely access to funds to better prepare for disasters and protect their lives and livelihoods, for example by securing their houses and property, clear rain gutters and stock emergency supplies.

“Linking index based parametric insurance to anticipatory action is yet another frontier concept that UNCDF, through the Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP), will test through its solutions hub, establish proof of concept, then deploy at scale, once validated by stakeholders,” said Krishnan Narasimhan, Global Lead Specialist, UNCDF.

“Though still in its early days, the solution has immense potential to build disaster risk resilience and preparedness of vulnerable communities in the Pacific and beyond.”

PICAP is jointly administered by UNCDF, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and is supported by the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and Luxembourg.

The new product is modelled on the concept of ‘anticipatory action’ – defined by pre-agreed triggers and actions that are taken to minimize the impact of disasters before they strike.

The insurance scheme will provide a FJ$50,000 (~US$ 22,000) group cover to each cooperative with a provision for payment up to 20 percent (FJ$10,000 or US$ 4,500) of the sum insured within two to three days prior to the cyclone making landfall. The cooperative will be entitled to the remaining payment, if any, once the final cyclone track data is published.

“Climate-related shocks have become more frequent and severe in the Pacific, and they are hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. With sound early warning systems, we can now better predict cyclone, floods and droughts and act on these predictions to save lives and livelihoods, including by using robust forecasts linked to pre-agreed financing and actions,” said Gabrielle Emery, Head of the UNDRR Pacific Subregional Office.

Sun Insurance Company Ltd, with the support from UNCDF and UNDRR will test the insurance concept with the Cane Farmers’ Co-operative Savings and Loans Association Limited, Tailevu Dairy Farmers Co-operative Association Limited and Fiji Rice Limited. Once tested, the product will be offered to more organisations through UNCDF’s range of private sector partners and extended to other Pacific Islands.


Note to Editors

The World Economic Forum Risks Perception Survey 2021-2022 has identified tropical cyclones, flooding, and droughts as the most damaging and frequent climate shocks experienced by Pacific Island countries. Innovative climate risk insurance and anticipatory action solutions can provide local communities and low-income groups with vital tools to deal with and recover quicker from the shocks.

About UNCDF

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyse participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local transformative finance, which capacitates localities through fiscal decentralisation, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilisation.

About UNDRR

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the United Nations focal point for disaster risk reduction.  Its mission is to provide leadership and support to accelerate global efforts in disaster risk reduction to achieve inclusive sustainable development and the goal and targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. UNDRR’s vision is of a world where disaster risks no longer threaten the well-being of people and the future of the planet. The UNDRR Pacific Subregional Office, located in Suva, Fiji, supports 15 Pacific Island countries and territories in reducing disaster and climate risk and building resilience.

For further information, please contact Sheldon Chanel, Communications Officer at UNCDF Pacific sheldon.chanel@undp.org or visit www.uncdf.org.

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Hazards Cyclone
Country and region Oceania Fiji
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