Relief For Haiti As IFC Awards $1.96 Million To Insure Entrepreneurs Against Natural Disasters

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is  partnering  with  donors  and  the  Microinsurance  Catastrophe  Risk Organisation  (MiCRO)  to  help thousands of low-income micro entrepreneurs in Haiti  protect  their  livelihoods  against  weather-related  risks  and  natural
disasters.

Haiti  is highly prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters  that  have  devastating  effects on the country’s population and economy.  However, only 0.3  per cent  of  the population has some form of insurance,  one  of  the lowest rates in the world. Micro-entrepreneurs are
particularly vulnerable to  uninsured  losses, as these can force them to default  on debts and disqualify them from future loans at a time when they need capital to recover.

IFC’s  $1.96  million  project  with  MiCRO  includes  a  $1.7  million performance-based  grant  and  $260,000  in  technical  assistance from the Global  Index  Insurance  Facility  (GIIF).  GIIF  is an innovative programme managed  by IFC and jointly implemented with the World Bank. GIIF is funded
mainly  by the European Union with additional funding from the Netherlands, and Japan.

The  project  will help provide Haitian micro entrepreneurs with affordable weather-index  insurance. It will be distributed through Fonkoze, a leading microfinance institution in Haiti.  Over the next three years, close to 70,000  Fonkoze  clients,  mostly  rural  women, are expected to be insured
through  the  program. They include shopkeepers, traders and market vendors who provide their communities with the essential goods and services.

“In  Haiti,  entrepreneurs  at  the  base  of  the  pyramid,  and  women in particular,  must  be  given  the  opportunity to generate income for their households, grow their businesses, create jobs, and build assets,” said Ary Naim, IFC Representative in Haiti. “With this innovative product, IFC hopes
to  have  a strong impact, preventing natural disasters from wiping out the hard work of thousands of Haitian entrepreneurs to get out of poverty.”