The World Food Programme (WFP), Oxfam Bangladesh and Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd have launched a new insurance scheme to help protect casual agricultural labourers in the country from the floods during this monsoon.
The scheme will support 2,000 casual farm labourers in Jatrapur and Ranigonj unions and Chilmari upazila of Kurigram, said a WFP statement yesterday.
Based on the parameters of the flood index, each household will receive a pay-out of BDT 2,700 to 18,000 to cover wage losses caused by severe flooding during monsoon -- which runs from the beginning of July to end of September this year.
"People in Bangladesh do not have protection against losses and damages caused by annual flooding. That's why WFP is introducing this flood insurance scheme – the first of its kind," said Richard Ragan, WFP Country Representative in Bangladesh.
Already dealing with the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh is currently facing a devastating flood that has submerged towns, washed away homes, and destroyed crops. Expers say climate change and frequent rainfall have lead to the increase in flooding.
Developed with funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the overall goal of the scheme -- which is a risk transfer solution -- is to enhance households' and communities' abilities to absorb climate shocks, improve their ability to reduce and manage risk, and maintain food security.
"KOICA believes that the innovative approaches -- such as Index-based Flood Insurance, Forecast-based Financing and Seasonal Livelihood approaches -- being piloted in this project will help reduce human suffering," said Young-ah Doh, Country Director of KOICA Bangladesh Office.
With a mission to leave no one behind with People-centered Peace and Prosperity, KOICA stands by the people of Bangladesh, Doh said.
"While climate change affects us all, low-income communities in the agricultural sector bear the brunt of the impact, even though they contribute the least to climate change", said Oxfam Bangladesh's Country Director Dipankar Datta. "This drives inequality even further."
"We hope that the government will replicate and scale up our newly launched index-based flood insurance scheme to minimise the risk of extreme vulnerabilities and inequalities faced by the marginalized communities involved in agriculture," he added.
Farzana Chowdhury, managing director & CEO of Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd., said she is looking forward to work on the project with WFP and Oxfam.
The index-based flood insurace product got the historical data required to develop the scheme from technical partners Weather Risk Management Services, International Water Management Institute, and Save Earth Climate Services Ltd.