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IFC and CIDR to Expand Low Income Health Microinsurance Coverage in Senegal

Dakar, Senegal, May 19, 2014 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an agreement with the Centre International de Développement et de Recherche to expand micro health insurance in Senegal to low-income and informally employed individuals.
More than 65 percent of the population of Senegal has no access to health insurance. Low levels of public funding for health coupled with an absence of affordable health insurance have left large parts of the population of Senegal facing high unexpected health expenditures when accidents or serious illness occur. Such expenditures can cause households to depend primarily on credit to fund high healthcare costs, increasing levels of indebtedness and poverty.
David Crush, Manager of IFC Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “By increasing the capacity of insurance companies to provide affordable health insurance to people with low incomes and those employed informally, the project will complement public sector health initiatives in Senegal and begin to fill the gap of the more than 65 percent of the population who have no access to health coverage.”
The three year project is expected to provide low-cost health microinsurance products to 108,000 individuals. The microinsurance products are offered through third party administrator Pool Micro Assurance Santé, which is receiving technical assistance and operational support from CIDR, and is owned by a pool of six private, local insurance companies. Affordable health microinsurance products offered by the private sector on a co-pay basis are a first in the West Africa Monetary and Economic Union region. This pilot in Senegal may be replicated in other countries based on the experience.
Eric Levoy, West Africa Regional Director for CIDR, said, “This project introduces health microinsurance products aimed at increasing access to health services in Senegal, reducing out of pocket spending on catastrophic health events, and lowering dependence on informal sources of financing following health shocks.”
The project has also received support from the Agence Française de Développement  and the International Labour Organization.
About Centre International de Développement et de Recherche
CIDR is an international NGO with a proven track-record and experience in the field of health microinsurance. It was founded in 1961 in France, and studies, formulates and implements local and regional development programmes in Africa based on the creation and/or the support of financial and economic activities which respect the socio-cultural balance of partner population groups.  In FY 12 CIDR managed a portfolio of projects representing € 5 million. Since 2009 CIDR has provided technical support to six insurance companies in Senegal, who have created a health micro-insurance pool, PMAS, to manage the health micro-insurance policies underwritten by each company.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
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