… to the United Nations
Many of our recent efforts to expand insurance protection cover losses from natural catastrophes and weather volatility (eg drought or excessive rainfall). As climate change is predicted to increase these losses, such transactions also help communities to strengthen their climate resilience. Furthermore, we have found that partnering with public sector clients, especially national and regional governments, is an effective way to develop solutions.
Building on these experiences, we made a significant commitment to the United Nations at its Climate Summit in September 2014. Personally addressing the government leaders present at the summit, our then Group CEO Michel M. Liès made the following pledge: “By the year 2020, Swiss Re commits to having advised 50 sovereigns and sub-sovereigns on climate risk resilience and to have offered them USD 10 billion against this risk.”
We have agreed with the United Nations to report publicly on the progress we make on this commitment. By the end of 2016, we had advised 26 sovereigns and sub-sovereigns on climate risk resilience and offered them a total of USD 3.9 billion in re/insurance protection.
Total amount of climate protection offered to sovereigns and sub-sovereigns since 2014
Smallholder farmers benefiting from the Grow Africa Partnership in 2016
… to the Grow Africa Partnership
In our work to bring risk protection to underinsured communities, in recent years we have put a focus on the African continent, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2012, we made a commitment to the Grow Africa Partnership (www.growafrica.org), an initiative launched by a number of organisations to promote public-private collaboration and investment in African agriculture. As most smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have had no access to insurance protection to date, addressing this problem is crucial to protect families’ livelihoods, facilitate economic development and reduce poverty.
Our commitment to the Grow Africa Partnership thus centres on the following three goals:
- Give farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa access to tools such as weather and yield index insurance products;
- Invest in resources equivalent to about USD 2 million per year to support the development of sustainable agricultural risk management markets;
- Provide agricultural insurance for up to 1.4 million smallholder farmers.
Working together with different partners, we helped to bring weather insurance to 1 million smallholder farmers in 11 Sub-Saharan countries by the end of 2016. This is less than the 1.6 million recorded in the previous year. The reasons for this decrease are twofold: Firstly, developing schemes that promise to become commercially viable continues to face significant challenges, in particular regarding the creation of effective distribution networks and overcoming market fragmentation. Secondly, the entry of additional capacity providers into some existing schemes has led to a reduction of Swiss Re’s participation share in them.