Md. Abdul Quayyum, Media and Communication Coordinator, Oxfam
Poor and vulnerable people in the river basin areas of Sirajganj district come under an index based flood insurance product, to enhance the disaster risk reduction programs in the flood prone regions.
The product was introduced on 20 August, 2013, at BRAC Centre, Dhaka in a program titled ”Launching Ceremony on Index Based Flood Insurance Product Piloting in Sirajgonj, Bangladesh,” organized by Oxfam.
With a feature of fast payout to the flood hit people, the index insurance product will cover 1661 poor families of 14 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. Mobile money transfer will also be introduced soon, to transfer the money to the beneficiaries even faster.
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 secure. Such kind of initiative helps the government to address the disaster risk reduction.” He urged all to scale up this effort to cover whole Bangladesh.
Snehal Soneji, Country Director for Oxfam in Bangladesh, in his welcome remarks said. “Bangladesh is a flood prone country, which is one of primary reasons for wide spread poverty, despite the remarkable economic progresses government has made. Index based flood insurance is aimed to design a commercially viable catastrophic flood insurance scheme for the poor and vulnerable.” He further added, “We are now piloting it in Sirajganj, with a hope to spread it across the country with the support from government, national and international organizations.”
Initiated by Oxfam, the project is funded by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) 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).
“Floodwater that used to create fertile ground for agriculture crops has resulted in catastrophic consequences in Bangladesh now. Through this flood index insurance scheme, Swiss Re 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,” said Harini Kannan, Head of Agriculture Reinsurance South West Asia from Swiss Re, the reinsurance partner for this project.
Earlier Sardar M Shah Newaz, Director, IWM presented the flood hazard model and Rupalee Ruchismita, Executive Director, CIRM presented the keynote paper on ‘Index Based Flood Insurance Product.’
Among others, Manirul Islam, Managing Director, Pragati Insurance Ltd, Prof. Dr. M. Monowar Hossain, Executive Director, IWM, Md Habibullah Bahar, Director and Manab Mukti Sansgtha, Messerli Sirocco, representative from SDC and MB Akhter from Oxfam also spoke.
Representatives from government, national and international organizations, media and community were present at the event.
Product Brochure: Meso-Level Index Based Flood Insurance
Media links: Print
Financial Express: 20 August
UNB: 21 August
Bdnews24: 21 August
Financial Express: 21 August
Dhaka Tribune: 21 August
New Age: 21 August
The Independent: 21 August
Kaler Kantho: 21 August
Canadian Under writer: 21 August
Media links: Electronic
Click here to watch the electronic media coverage of the event.