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India- based Weather Risk Management Services Pvt. Ltd. (WRMS) (https://wrmsglobal.com/) will be providing the technical support in Fiji to develop the weather index parametric modeling, development of appropriate and affordable climate risk insurance products targeting the agriculture, fisheries, tourism and retail sectors and will work closely with the project team in developing the capacity of local insurance service providers in the region. Led by the Fiji Ministry of Economy’s Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is implementing the “Developing Climate Disaster Risk Financing Framework and Parametric insurance” project.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Anuj Kumbhat, Co-Founder & Director, WRMS said, “The project, a first in the Pacific, aims to unlock the potential of the private sector to meaningfully contribute to addressing a persistent development challenge and vulnerability in Fiji. Disaster risk financing and insurance solutions will be used to establish proof of concept and then scaled and replicated in other countries through knowledge and experience sharing. The overall program objective is to improve the financial preparedness of Fiji against climate change and natural hazards, leveraging India’s experience in FinTech/InsurTech and co-creation of solutions, awareness and capacity building, innovative financing options and digital linkages – with a robust interface to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

“The Developing Climate Disaster Risk Financing and Parametric Insurance project” in Fiji being implemented by the UNCDF is funded by the Government of India through the India-UN Development Partnership fund administered by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. The project aims to develop the Pacific region’s first ever weather index based parametric micro insurance product to cover vulnerable farmers, fishers, market vendors and small businesses to provide immediate post-disaster cash liquidity to assist them to recover faster and rebuild their livelihoods. UNCDF is happy to partner with India based Weather Risk Management services to develop the climate risk model, index and product design and provide capacity building to Fiji based local insurance companies to offer a range of market based index-insurance product,” said Krishnan Narasimhan, UNCDF Global Lead (Insurance and Climate Adaptation), this is a testimony to the robust South-South cooperation and learning from India being transferred to the Pacific to foster improved technical collaboration and partnerships for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

As the global COVID-19 pandemic raged in 2020, the South Pacific Island of Fiji faced a ‘double whammy”- an economic crisis triggered by the global pandemic and the impact of successive tropical cyclones. The Government has limited options to cope, besides repurposing national budgets, – moving funds from development to disaster relief- external and internal borrowing or seeking donor assistance.

The Fiji-focused project is part of the UNCDF Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme, a multi-year regional initiative implemented in partnership with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The programme receives funding support from the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and India.

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