Haiti launches micro-finance catastrophe insurance programme
When Hurricane Sandy struck Haiti late last year, the majority of Haitians had no insurance cover with which to rebuild their lives.
In an effort to show the feasibility of protecting the poor through insurance International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank, will place $1.7 million in funding, plus technical assistance, to support the local Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation, (MiCRO) programme.
MiCRO, the first natural catastrophe insurance scheme of its kind in Haiti, was founded by Fonkoze, the international relief organisation Mercy Corps, and a number of other partners after a devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010.
One of the most weather disasterprone countries in the world, Haiti’s most vulnerable residents rely on small-scale farming and are at constant risk of losing their livelihoods. MiCRO’s activities are supported locally by Haitian insurer Alternative Insurance Company SA (AIC), along with global reinsurer Swiss Re.
While similar disaster microinsurance schemes exist elsewhere in the world, they don’t operate under the same model as MiCRO. The funding is viewed as an experiment, which, if successful, will be replicated elsewhere.