The 10th European Microfinance Award

The objective of the European Microfinance Award 2019 “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change” is to recognise organisations active in the financial inclusion sector that provide financial and non-financial products and services aimed at strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change.

Out of the 41 organisations from 27 countries who have applied to win the €100,000, APA Insurance Ldt, a Kenyan insurance company has won the Award.

APA Insurance Ltd - Kenya

Winner

APA Insurance Ltd (APA) offers 2 agriculture insurances to its clients:

    Index based livestock Insurance (IBLI)

      Livestock is the principle asset and key source of income in northern parts of Kenya which is mostly arid and semi-arid land. APA has been implementing IBLI programme since year 2015 in Kenya. IBLI insures pastoralists against forage deterioration that can lead to drought, resulting in livestock deaths. Forage availability is determined by satellite data. With the help of this solution pastoralists are now able to buy forage to keep the livestock alive or transport them to better grazing places during the drought situation.

        Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII)

          AYII product pays out claims to farmers when the average yield in their area falls below a set level, regardless of the actual yield on each client’s farm. This agriculture insurance protects farmers against the damage to the insured growing crops due to excessive rainfall, flood, frost, hail damage, excessive heat wave, windstorm, uncontrollable pest and diseases, and drought.

          ASKI Group of Companies Inc. - The Philippines

          Runner-up

          ASKI Group of Companies, Inc. is a Microfinance Institution in the Philippines, selected as finalist for its dedicated products for disaster relief and recovery.

          Following the typhoons in 2009, ASKI recognised the need for strengthening the disaster preparedness efforts within the institution and at the community level, to mitigate the effects of climate change. ASKI addressed these challenges both in terms of processes and products.
          This includes the setup of a Disaster Risk Reduction team (to play a role before, during and after the calamity); the publication of "12 Steps to Resiliency: A Guidebook on Disaster Risk Reduction and Business Continuity Planning for Microfinance Institutions". It also partnered with local
          government units to conduct training for emergency response and disaster preparedness.

          Moreover, ASKI also initiated:

          • Creation of resiliency fund, a form of savings of ASKI clients intended for relief and recovery in times of disaster due to natural calamities;
          • Creation of rehabilitation loans and bridge loans for heavily affected clients ;
          • Enrolment of clients to microinsurance and the organisation to Agricultural Guarantee Fund to mitigate the risks on the part of the clients and ASKI.

          Financiera Fondo de Desarrollo Local (FDL) - Nicaragua

          Runner-up

          Financiera Fondo de Desarrollo Local (FDL) is a Microfinance Institution in Nicaragua which was selected as finalist of the European Microfnance Award in recognition of its multi-focused Green Microfinance-Plus programme.

          FDL decided to react to the consequences of climate change by providing local interventions to increase not only clients’ resiliency, but also the resilience of the ecosystem.

          FDL’s “Green Microfinance-Plus” reduces transaction costs, combines technical assistance with payments for ecological services and adapted loans for water-harvesting and irrigation systems, and incorporates silvopastoral agroforestry models for the intensification of cattle production based on integrated and sustainable natural processes, including pasture improvement, seed management and diversification, and soil conservation.

          Loans are provided for green microfinance in the coffee/cacao highlands (crédito ambiental cambio). Since 2015, loans are provided for the Dry Corridor (crédito ecomicro) to foster mitigation and adaptation practices and since 2013, loans are provided for agroforestry-related income diversification activities (e.g. establishing cocoa and coffee plantations as tree/shade balancing areas for corn and bean production) in the buffer zone of forest reserves. FDL’s green financial products are accompanied by technical assistance.

          The 2 partners involved are Nitlapán (the Institute of Research and Development of the Universidad Centroamericana de Nicaragua, which provides technical assistance and applied research) and the Local Development Fund Association.



          Photo ©EuropeanMicrofinanceAward/Studion

          *** The Award Call for Application is usually launched in Spring ***