October action materials available online

The October action pack is now available on our website. Our monthly conference call, which will look at how microinsurance can help to protect poor farmers against the effects of climate change, will be held on Tuesday 5th October at 8pm. For details of how to join the call, please contact your group leader or the RESULTS office.

There has been a change in our guest speaker, because unfortunately Francesco Rispoli of IFAD will be in rural Ghana at the time of our call. However, we’re delighted to be able to announce that he will be replaced by Richard Leftley, President and CEO of Microensure, an insurance intermediary dedicated to serving the poor throughout the developing world with an affordable and appropriate range of insurance products. Richard has a huge amount of experience in the field of microinsurance, and those of you who were lucky enough to see him at our national conference in March will know that he’s an inspiring and enthusiastic speaker.

On the call we’ll be talking about the precarious situation of the 500 million smallholder farmers in the world, who produce a large percentage of the world’s food but are also disproportionately represented among the group of those who are chronically hungry – one estimate from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says that 60% of chronically hungry people are resource-poor farmers.

Small farmers face massive constraints against improving their productivity, as they are often unable to access vital inputs such as credit, technical skills and improved seeds or fertilisers. As climate change is starting to bite and weather patterns around the world are changing, the situation of these farmers is becoming ever more difficult and the need to 0pen up their access to improved inputs all the more urgent.

Microinsurance can be a powerful part of the solution to this problem. Microinsurance products help farmers to maintain food security by compensating them financially if they lose their crops, and just as importantly microinsurance pays out much more swiftly than humanitarian aid and therefore helps affected people to avoid having to sell assets. It also opens up credit markets so that farmers can access loans to invest in their land.

Microinsurance has the potential to ensure that funding for adaptation to climate change filters right down to those who are most affected, tackling not just their vulnerability to climate disasters, but also allowing them to access the wider financial market and begin to work their way out of poverty. Our action this month will be to ask the Secretaries of State for Energy and Climate Change and International Development to prioritise microinsurance within ‘Fast Start’ Funding for climate change adaptation from developed nations. Do join us on the call to find out more and prepare to take action yourself.

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