AusAID proud to support a first for Fiji and the Pacific Region

July 12, 2012

In launching a funeral insurance scheme for Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI) Sangamin Nadi yesterday, Mr. John Davidson, the Minister Counselor, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) said, “this event is a significant milestone as it is one of the first community based microinsurance schemes in not only Fiji, but the entire Pacific!”

Mr. Davidson expressed, “Financial shocks can come in many forms and can push people further into poverty. With many families in the West experiencing first hand the struggle to rebuild their lives and homes after the severe floods earlier this year, unpredictable events like death and accidents just places them in a more vulnerable state. “
 AusAID together with development partners Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme have over the past two years collaborated to offer protection to Fijian communities, and this microinsurance scheme does exactly that.

Also launching a similar product earlier this year to the Partners for Community Development Fiji (PCDF) community in Savusavu, Life Insurance Corporation India (LICI) was duly acknowledged for initiating innovative insurance partnerships in the region and ultimately making insurance more accessible and affordable for the low-income people of this country. The partnership between this local insurance provider and this community based organization will enable an estimated 20,000 TISI Sangam members to have access to affordable insurance products, with pilots to begin in Nadi.

One of the lowest premiums on the markets in Fiji, LICI offers TISI Sangam’s members the ability to cope with unexpected shocks by paying a minimum premium of FJ$14/year for $1,000 annual funeral coverage.
 Jagannath Sami, CEO, TISI Sangam, Fiji conveyed, “This scheme is important to TISI Sangam because for the first time it reaches out to all our members who belong to vulnerable and low income families. This funeral benefit will provide them the support and security they need in times of difficulties.”

PFIP facilitated this partnership and offered extensive technical assistance to both partners with financial assistance from AusAID.

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It is a joint project of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has received additional support from AusAID and the European Union. The programme is based at the UNDPPacific Centre in Suva, Fiji.