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IFC Signs Agreements to Expand Insurance to Farmers in East Africa

Nairobi, Kenya, November 24, 2010 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed agreements with three partners  to expand access to insurance to thousands of farmers and livestock herders in Kenya and Rwanda to help protect their crops, animals, and livelihoods from weather-related risks and natural disasters.
IFC, through the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), will confer grants totaling roughly $4.1 million to the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture/UAP Insurance weather index insurance initiative in Kenya; the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Livestock index insurance project in northern Kenya; and the MicroEnsure weather index insurance project in Rwanda.
The grants, the first three provided under the GIIF program, will help bring weather-related, index-based insurance to about 35,000 farmers and 5,000 households in East Africa over the next three years.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “These partnerships highlight IFC’s commitment to expanding insurance and other financial products where they are needed most in Africa. The Global Index Insurance Facility will facilitate farmers’ access to credit, leading to increased productivity, improved livelihoods and greater food security. We are grateful to the donors that have generously provided funding and to our partners for supporting this program.”
Bernard Rey, the Head of Operations European Union Delegation to Kenya, said, “The implementation of these three first GIIF projects in Kenya and Rwanda will support the development of new insurance products and will increase expertise in this field, which will benefit smallholders and livestock keepers affected by climatic events. In addition to the GIIF, The European Union is providing further financing to the ILRI Livestock Insurance project in Kenya through the 10 th European Development Fund, Kenya Rural Development Project that will start in 2011.”
The specific grant agreements are:
  • IFC will confer a grant of up to $2.4 million on Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, which expects to help insure 20,000 farmers in Kenya over the next three years
  • IFC will confer a grant of up to $154,000 on the ILRI, which expects to help insure 5,000 households in northern Kenya over the next two years.
  • IFC will confer a grant of up to $1.6 million on MicroEnsure, which expects to insure 15,000 farmers in Rwanda over the next three years.
IFC’s GIIF program was established in 2009 to assist the development of index-based insurance for natural disasters and weather risks in developing countries, where insurance is rarely available.
The grants will fund advisory activities, including local capacity building, infrastructure development, product development, and development of local insurance companies’ capacity to provide index-based insurance products.
Index-based insurance insures against catastrophic events, such as wind storms or droughts, depending on their severity. Index-linked insurance products eliminate the need for insurance companies to individually verify claims, reducing transaction costs and making it easier for the products and services to be offered to rural communities and in frontier regions.
The European Union committed 24.5 million euros as the first donor to the GIIF Trust Fund. The fund is also supported by Japan’s Ministry of Finance with an initial grant of $2 million, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided funding to establish the facility.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .