Houses of Parliament
In the ten years since it was established, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Microfinance (APPG)* has been working to advance the understanding of microfinance amongst UK parliamentarians and to promote good practice in the UK’s support for microfinance around the world. The APPG provides a forum for its membership (made up of MPs and Peers) to learn about microfinance and to engage with representatives of microfinance institutions, investors, academics and other stakeholders in the global microfinance sector. The APPG is currently looking into the structures employed in developing countries to regulate and supervise microfinance, and they would like to hear the views of individuals and organisations that have an interest in this subject.
In recent months, the drive to support greater access to agricultural microinsurance has formed a major component of RESULTS’ work on microfinance. Microinsurance, which helps farmers and poor people protect themselves against shocks such as drought or other natural disasters, is a significant innovation in microfinance and one which RESULTS are keen to promote as a means for alleviating poverty.
Cattle Farming near Gabiley, Somaliland
In the last couple of weeks, two pieces have appeared in mainstream media about microinsurance for farmers. First, American news network CNN
ran a story
on the topic of livestock insurance in Northern Kenya. The piece illustrated how local farmers were making use of innovative microinsurance products to help themselves recover following last year’s drought
, during which many of them lost most of their livestock. This initiative is typical of many microinsurance schemes, which see small-scale farmers paying a percentage of the value of their herds as a premium in order to insure themselves against loss due to environmental disasters or other unforseen circumstances.
This might seem like a fairly standard insurance product to many people in developed countries, but the innovative part of the scheme is that the insurers make use of satellite imagery and other technologies to see where drought has hit hardest, and to compensate insured farmers in the affected areas. The insurance is offered by Kenyan microfinance institution Equity Bank, with the support of the International Livestock Research Institute and international donors including the UK.
Posted in Climate Change, Development Finance, Microfinance, News
Tagged Africa, Climate Change, CNN, East Africa, Equity Bank, Financial Times, IFC, ILO, ILRI, International Finance Corporation, International Labour Organisation, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya, Kilimo Salama, Microcredit, Microfinance, Microinsurance, RESULTS UK, The Guardian, WFP, World Food Programme
Thursday the 8th was the last day of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2011 in Durban, which brought together representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and civil society to debate and to find an agreement on three main documents on climate change mitigation: the implementation of the Convention and Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements.
An important part of the Convention included also discussions on agriculture and rural development, in particular on the creation of new strategies and policies, in order to both tackle climate change negative effects on the sector and to decrease the effects of the sector on climate change. Continue reading
Posted in Climate Change, Department for International Development, Development Finance, Hunger, Microfinance, News
Tagged Adaptation, Agriculture, Cancun, Climate Change, Copenhagen, durban, Microfinance, Microinsurance, mitigation, rural development, UNFCCC
We are pleased to announce that the next RESULTS Action call will take place on Tuesday 4th October at 8pm. The call is titled “Protecting the Investments of the poor: who will show global leadership on microinsurance?” Click here to download the action materials.
Our guest on the call will be Steve Coffey, Vice President, Strategic Relations, MicroEnsure
To join the call you can dial in using 0844 8360 360, 0207 788 3000 or 0800 369 8888. You must then enter the participant code, which is 18723.
As the effects of climate change are increasingly felt by people all over the world, efforts are underway to offer poor farmers –who suffer the effects of climate change hardest- the opportunity to insure themselves and their crops against increasingly frequent extreme weather events. One such initiative being used across 5 Caribbean countries is called the ‘Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean ’ Project (CRAIC). The scheme allows farmers and labourers alike to protect themselves in the event of a massive crop failure.
This innovative and cutting edge industry holds massive potential for farmers globally as the international community makes funds available to protect the poor against the effects of climate change.
This month we will be asking those heads of state who have backed the CRAIC to use the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to use their voices in support for expanding and investing in microinsurance initiatives globally.
If you need any information about your nearest group meeting or how to join the call, please get in touch with us in the RESULTS office.
Image courtesy of DFID
We are pleased to announce that a recording of our May focus call is now available for download. Click here to listen to the call.
The call is titled ‘Back to basics: microfinance and the Grameen Bank’
The call covered:
- The early years of Muhammad Yunus, ‘banker to poor’ Nobel Laureate, microfinance pioneer and founder of the Grameen Bank
- How and why he founded the bank Continue reading
This Thursday, RESULTS Executive Director Aaron Oxley attended a meeting in Bonn, Germany, with other members of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII).
At the meeting we examined the prospects for scaling up weather indexed micro crop insurance around the world this year, particularly as the UNFCCC climate negotiations are looking increasingly like they will allow for substantial funds to be made available as the negotiations are finalised in the coming years.
After the failure of Copenhagen to secure a “Big Bang” style globally binding climate deal in 2009, the progress made in Cancun in December 2010 signalled a new approach with more space being created for “bottom up” initiatives. Weather indexed insurance that targets smallholder farmers is a vital component in this, and can be implemented right away. This is important: as events in Pakistan show, the weather does not wait for negotiations, and absolutely impacts the poorest the hardest. The sooner we can begin to increase investments in protecting poor farmers and agricultural workers, the better.
Posted in Climate Change, Hunger, Uncategorized
Tagged Agriculture, Climate Change, Farmers, MCII, Micro Crop Insurance, Microinsurance, Small farmers, UNFCCC, Weather Indexed Insurance
As you will have seen from previous posts, the APPG on Microfinance (which RESULTS supports) is holding an inquiry looking at how Donors and the UK Government should seek to contribute to the microfinance field, with a particular focus on how microfinance tackles poverty. The APPG plans to provide recommendations to the Department for International Development (DFID) based on its findings.
Anyone who would like to contribute is very welcome to make a submission – details are on the APPG website. The final deadline for submissions is next Friday the 14 January 2011.
2010 has been a year that has seen many successes in the areas on which RESULTS campaigns. As the year draws to a close, and we look ahead to the challenges we face in 2011, we’d like to have a look back at those successes and to say thank you to our fantastic grassroots network and all the other individuals and organisations that have lent us their skills and expertise over the past 12 months. Continue reading
Posted in Grassroots Network
Tagged Action Project, Advocacy, Aid, APPG, Bill Gates, Campaigning, DFID, Disability, Education for All, Fundraising, Gary Lineker, Global Health, Grassroots, Health, HIV, Microfinance, Microinsurance, National Conference, RESULTS, TB, Tuberculosis, UK Coalition to Stop TB, User fees
Back in October RESULTS held a briefing for our grassroots activists on how microinsurance can help to protect poor farmers in the developing world against the impact of climate change, and also contribute to unlocking rural credit markets enabling small farmers to access better seeds and fertilisers to improve their outputs. We encouraged our activists to write to their MPs to push for UK support for scaling up the provision of microinsurance.
This past week we have started to receive some responses from the Department for International Development, which have been extremely positive. In a letter to Mark Field MP, Stephen O’Brien the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development writes:
The Department for International Development believe that micro-insurance could be important in helping small farmers cope with and recover from climate related losses. It can help increase farmers’ credit worthiness, allowing them to invest in tools such as new seeds, fertilizers and equipment. Continue reading
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank, recently announced it would be providing $4.1 million in grants to three organisations as part of its Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF).
The grants have been distributed as follows: Continue reading
Posted in Development Finance, Microfinance
Tagged Agriculture, IFC, ILRI, Kenya, livestock, microensure, Microinsurance, Rwanda, Syngenta, World Bank