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IFAD, WFP Issue Weather Index-based Insurance Guide

7 November 2011: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have released a guide titled "Weather Index-based Insurance in Agricultural Development: A Technical Guide for Practitioners to Help Mange Weather Risks." The guide has emerged from the Weather Risk Management Facility (WRMF), a joint programme between IFAD and WFP, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  

The technical guide is intended as a practical reference tool to guide IFAD, WFP and other donors' country programme management staff through the steps of implementing a Weather Index-based Insurance programme. It is based on the recognition that weather index-based insurance represents an increasingly viable approach to help smallholder farmers prepare for climatic events. This type of insurance is based on an objective parameter, like rainfall or temperature, over an agreed period of time, and aims to reflect damages suffered by farmers. All farmers opting into the system receive payouts based on these measures, eliminating the need for loss assessments in the field.

The guide translates the WRMF into practical decision-making steps for donors and practitioners, covering phases of project design and management processes. It also highlights the need to use weather index-based insurance within an integrated approach that also considers constraints such as lack of access to finance, improved seed, inputs and markets. The guide includes background information, explanations and resource recommendations to help inform decision making.

The guide was launched prior to the seventh International Microinsurance Conference, which will convene in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 8-10 November 2011. The Microinsurance Conference will focus on how microinsurance can be delivered to low-income households, and how public-private-partnerships can be mobilized to deliver microinsurance products against weather shocks. [IFAD Press Release] [Publication: Weather Index-based Insurance in Agricultural Development]