THE Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme will work with insurance companies across the Pacific to explore, develop and supply accessible, affordable and suitable insurance products.
Acting PFIP program manager Krishnan Narasimhan said the Pacific lacked weather related insurance scheme, such as cyclone coverage for crops, and that PFIP was assisting the insurance industry to develop commercially viable and scalable business propositions to provide this sort of protection.
A statement from PFIP said the partnership between the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Disaster Resilience in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) Programme has delegated authority and financing to the PFIP to set up an Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab to conduct research, test concepts, design and prototype insurance products, launch tested products with insurance service providers and the business community to help address climate and disaster risks across the region.
The partnership was aimed at working with Pacific policymakers and the insurance industry to develop affordable insurance protection to secure livelihoods and assets for Pacific Islanders.
It said the RESPAC project with an overall budget of $US7,500,000 ($F15m) has allocated a sum of $US590,000 ($F1.2m) to PFIP to undertake activities over the next three years that will increase the use of inclusive insurance and other financial instruments to manage and share disaster related risk and fund post disaster recovery efforts.
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji country director and head of Pacific Regional Policy and Programme ,Bakhodir Burkhanov, said innovation for development was about identifying more effective solutions that added value for the people affected by development challenges.
“Pacific communities have growing vulnerabilities to natural hazards, climate change related risks and to other financial shocks,” he said.
“These events can remove development gains and erode resilience of communities and weaken business sectors.
“The RESPAC and PFIP partnership will develop insurance products that are not only affordable but will also help people to mitigate and manage risks, and protect assets,” said Mr Burkhanov.
RESPAC program manager Noud Leenders said: “Greater insurance penetration will lead to greater levels of resilience. Having insurance will allow citizens and small businesses to recover faster. Insured businesses have a higher capacity to maintain or to restart operations following a negative weather, accident or risk related event,” said Mr Leenders.