The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) Foundation have launched the Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund to boost financial resilience of low-income populations in developing countries.
According to the announcement, the Fund will enable mutual insurance initiatives to strengthen financial resilience of people with low income. It was initially funded with $600,000.
Mutual and cooperative insurers will have to compete for technical and financial resources to develop and distribute innovative and affordable insurance products specifically serving the needs of most vulnerable households.
The Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund will support a minimum of four organisations over two to three years to scale their existing microinsurance programmes to reach new customers and markets in developing countries, with plans to significantly scale up the work into the future.
It will be overseen by UNDP’s Insurance and Risk Finance Facility and administered by the ICMIF Foundation.
Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, Co-operators (Canada) and Chair of the ICMIF Foundation, commented: “ICMIF is excited about this new joint endeavor with UNDP to support the world’s poorest communities and build resilience in the face of climate, health and other shocks.
“Mutual and cooperative insurers work with grassroots communities to co-create risk models and build education programmes that support risk mitigation and adaptation. This partnership will help scale access to affordable insurance for the people who need it most, building on the ICMIF Foundation’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy which has reached 15 million people over the last five years.”
The ICMIF noted that the Fund brings together the inclusive insurance expertise and closeness to vulnerable communities of the ICMIF Foundation – currently serving three million households living on average with less than five dollars per day – with UNDP’s long-term focus on building the financial resilience of communities and countries.