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Flood insurance for river basin people

August 20th, 2013 by Posted in Resilience
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.

Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief

Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief

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.”

Snehal Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh

Snehal Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh

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).

Rupalee Ruchismita, Executive Director, CIRM

Rupalee Ruchismita, Executive Director, CIRM

“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 launching ceremony

Product launching ceremony

Project Brochure

Product Brochure:  Meso-Level Index Based Flood Insurance

Media links: Print

UNB :20 August

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

Daily Sangbad 

Banik Barta

Canadian Under writer: 21 August


Pakistan Affairs

Insurance Journal 

Media links: Electronic 

Click here to watch the electronic media coverage of the event.

  1. 7 Responses to “Flood insurance for river basin people”

  2. By mishu on Aug 20, 2013

    very very nice as well important initiative of Oxfam to introduce flood insurance. I appreciate day to day increase of insured people by oxfam.

  3. By Jean Park on Sep 10, 2013

    This is indeed very noble. I know Oxfam has a heart to the marginalized. I’m happy these people in the river basin are the much priority with this flood insurance.

  4. By Tegan Tallullah on Feb 2, 2014

    Sounds like a great idea! Just wondering though, is the insurance affordable for the poorest people to access? Or is it funded by Oxfam? The article didn’t make this clear..

  5. By Oxfam in Bangladesh on Feb 2, 2014

    Thanks. The premiums are paid by Oxfam to the insurer. Poor people don’t need to pay anything here. Please find the project brochure attached with the article for more details.

  1. 3 Trackback(s)

  2. Aug 21, 2013: Launching the Meso-Level Flood Index Insurance product for Sirajganj, Bangladesh | Safety Nets
  3. Aug 21, 2013: New parametric flood index-insurance pilot launched in Bangladesh | www.artemis.bm
  4. Sep 2, 2013: Homepage

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