Farmers in five African countries to get insurance payouts

Ethiopia droughtThe World Food Programme (WFP), the food assistance arm of the UN, drought in some African countries will see the largest ever insurance payout to vulnerable farmers

Farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal and Zambia will get payouts totalling US$1.5mn to compensate for weather-related crop losses under the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, which was launched by the WFP and Oxfam America in 2011.

Nearly 30,000 households will be able to buy food and pay their children’s school fees with the payouts.

“In Malawi, more than 7,000 drought-affected families will receive an insurance payment worth US$400,000. This is the first time that a weather index insurance programme has delivered payouts at such a large scale in Malawi. Insurance is a key element which complements other initiatives being undertaken to make people more resilient to weather-related shocks,“ Benoit Thiry, country director, WFP Malawi, said.

The insurance payments are based on an index of rainfall, vegetation or yield estimates determining the extent of the loss incurred by participating farmers. Compensation is paid to farmers if the index falls below a pre-determined threshold.

The R4 scheme, which covers more than 57,000 farmers in Africa, is supported by the governments of the United States, Switzerland, Flanders, the UK, France, the Republic of Korea, Canada and Sweden.

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