Swiss Re Plays Leading Role in Private Sector Plan for African ‘Food Security’

May 21, 2012

Swiss Re announced that CEO Michel Liès has signed a letter of intent to participate in a “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition,” which will begin work following the G-8 summit at Camp David.

Those private sector companies involved will make pledges to “participate in a scheme to help lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years,” Swiss Re said.

The reinsurer also indicated that it has “committed to invest in-kind resources equivalent to about $2 million per year to support the development of sustainable agricultural risk management markets to assist farmers to cover production risks and enable them to access finance and engage in higher income-generating activities.”

The participation in the effort “includes taking a key role in the B20 Food Security Task Force, a public-private initiative, to advise and activate risk management solutions in agriculture. This initiative can increase risk transfer capacity by a factor of 3 within 5 years. For Sub-Saharan Africa, this equates to an increase of risk capacity from currently $200 million to $600 million and is expected to provide agricultural insurance for up to 1.4 million smallholder farmers.”

Specific initiatives the project envisions include the following:
a) Developing weather index markets by supporting projects that receive grants from the Global Index Insurance Facility;
b) Providing technical advice to the Global Index Insurance Facility,
c) Providing risk solutions to businesses with agricultural focus, as a means to encourage further investment

Swiss Re also said it “plans to continue working with Oxfam America, the World Food Program and USAID to scale its R4 Rural Resilience initiative, beyond the 13,000 households currently enrolled in Ethiopia.”

Source: Swiss Re

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