Swiss Re Plays Key Role in Oxfam’s Bangladesh Flood Insurance Program

August 21, 2013

The global charity Oxfam has announced the launch of a flood insurance program for poor and vulnerable people in the river basin areas of the Sirajganj district of Bangladesh.

“Initiated by Oxfam, the project is funded by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation) and jointly implemented by CIRM Advisory Services (India), Institute of Water Modeling (Bangladesh), Pragati Insurance Ltd. (Bangladesh), Swiss Re, Manab Mukti Sangstha (Bangladesh) and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (Bangladesh),” said the announcement.

The insurance program will be based on an index aimed at addressing disaster risk reduction in the flood prone regions. “Floodwater that used to create fertile ground for agriculture crops has resulted in catastrophic consequences in Bangladesh now,” said Harini Kannan, Head of Agriculture Reinsurance South West Asia from Swiss Re, the reinsurance partner for this project.

Swiss Re explained that through the flood index insurance scheme, it “supports the insurance sector with product structuring, pricing and underwriting, as well as reinsuring the risks. The insurance scheme will help to mitigate the fiscal impact of the flooding to the villages, and strengthen the resilience of the economy.”

Initially the flood index insurance product “will cover 1661 poor families of 10 villages located in Char areas of Sirajganj district on a pilot basis. The product aims to provide cash relief of up to BDT 8000 per household in event of catastrophic flood.”

Addressing the launching ceremony as the chief guest, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief said: “With this very innovative initiative, poor and vulnerable people of Sirajganj district, who are the regular victims of flood will feel more secured. Such kind of initiative helps the government to address the disaster risk reduction.” He also urged the expansion of the program to cover all of Bangladesh.

Source: Oxfam/Swiss Re

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