VisionFund’s Asian Region Disaster Insurance Scheme wins ADB Civil Society Partnership Award
FRANKFURT/MANILA – May 3, 2016 – VisionFund International (VFI), World Vision’s microfinance arm, has been announced as the winner of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Civil Society Partnership Award for 2016. The award was presented today at the 49th ADB Annual Meeting held in Frankfurt, Germany, in recognition of VisionFund’s development of an innovative ‘Asian Region Disaster Insurance Scheme’ (ARDIS) in partnership with industry stakeholders and harnessing experience in supporting clients’ recovery following Typhoon Haiyan, through their microfinance institution in the Philippines, Community Economic Ventures, Inc.
The awarding took place during the Civil Society Program of the Annual Meeting, organized by ADB's NGO and Civil Society Center, and the award was presented by Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The award is launched by ADB for the first time this year to highlight and support the importance of collaborating with civil society in efforts to address the issues driving poverty in Asia and the Pacific. The award was open to Civil Society Organisations and NGOs in ADB’s developing member countries which demonstrate sustainable social impact in the context of an ADB-supported project.
“We are delighted to receive this award, especially as it is recognition of the importance of preparation before a disaster for financial resilience and rapid economic recovery,” says Michael Kellogg, Typhoon Haiyan Response Director, VisionFund International. “We now have clear evidence that our ‘recovery lending’ approach supports economic recovery of clients and their communities after disasters without creating over-indebtedness, while simultaneously reducing losses for microfinance institutions.”
Disasters triggered by natural hazards pose an increasing risk to Asia’s poorest people and despite the prudent preparations of households and communities, the effects can set back economic progress for years. Typically, after a disaster, microfinance institutions do not have the funds to rapidly restructure existing loans and deploy fresh loans into affected communities in a way that supports the rebuilding of their local economies. ARDIS is poised to change that situation.
“The model we are developing combines climate science, weather index derivative/insurance and liquidity funds to create a financing mechanism for our recovery lending,” explains Stewart McCulloch, VisionFund’s Global Insurance Director. “It is an insurance-backed liquidity fund that ensures a microfinance institution has the financial ability to execute a recovery lending program to support communities after a disaster.”
ARDIS is being developed in partnership with GlobalAgRisk, led by Professor Jerry Skees, and is supported by grants from the UK government (DFID), the Rockefeller Foundation, FMO (the Dutch development bank) and the Asian Development Bank (supported by a fund from the Government of Canada).
The scheme is now in design stage and is to be rolled out next year to four countries reaching more than 450,000 Asian clients. Max Robinson, VisionFund’s COO added, “Looking ahead, we see this as an industry solution. The more it is adopted, the better, both for microfinance institutions that want to support communities after a disaster, as well as affected families that need the financial support at these very challenging times.”
VisionFund’s microfinance services are integrated into the development and humanitarian response work of World Vision which carries out programmes in health, water, sanitation, education and economic development. The organisations have a shared vision of improving the lives of children living in poverty.
The 49th ADB Annual Meeting held in Frankfurt saw a gathering of over 3,000, comprising finance and development ministers, central bank governors, and other government officials, business leaders, investors, journalists, and representatives from civil society. The theme of the 2016 Annual Meeting is ‘Cooperating for Sustainability’ with the focus being on closer Asian and European linkages to support sustainable development.
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ABOUT ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB)
Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totalled $27.2 billion, including co-financing of $10.7 billion. For more information please visit: http://www.adb.org/
ABOUT VISIONFUND INTERNATIONAL
VisionFund International, World Vision’s microfinance arm, has been improving the lives of children in the developing world for more than a decade. By offering small loans and other financial services to families living in poverty, its clients develop successful businesses, enabling their children to grow up healthy and educated. Last year, VisionFund International MFIs provided 1.3 million loans at a 98 percent repayment rate, with nearly three-quarters of these going to women, and over half to clients actively involved in farming. In 2015, close to four million children were impacted through its lending network located across more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. For further information please visit VisionFund International.org
L-R: Chris Morris, Head, NGO and Civil Society Center- ADB, Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management & Sustainable Development - ADB presenting the award to Max Robinson, COO - VFI and Michael Kellogg, Typhoon Haiyan Response Director - VFI