Fragile Contexts



The African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS) is thought to be the world’s largest non-governmental climate insurance programme, and covers 15 of VisionFund's microfinance institutions.

ARDIS blog


The ARDIS programme

VisionFund’s innovative programme ARDIS was launched in 2018, and working in partnership with the German Development Bank’s InsuResilience Investment Fund and Global Parametrics, is the world’s largest non-governmental climate-insurance programme.

VisionFund is using the ARDIS programme to provide the necessary tools for recovery lending following major natural catastrophes, and in doing so, provide outcomes like those traditional insurance would provide.

The programme offers microfinance solutions to about 10 million people across 15 countries and to new and existing clients who are or will be affected by climate-related disasters.

Rural Agriculture

The '4Cs' of ARDIS


Our partner IIF supplies VisionFund, through ARDIS, a revolving line of credit available to its member MFIs, which contains a climate index threshold. If a disaster triggers this index, the credit is offered at pre-disaster interest rates. The amount is matched to the severity of the event, which also matches the impact on the ground. As the indexed nature of the cover means no assessment of loss is needed, new loans can be made to help families start recovering straight away.

VFM_Location Cover MM

The '4Cs' of ARDIS


Our partner, Natural Disaster Fund, provides the ARDIS scheme with a derivative that pays out in the event of a natural disaster, triggered by a similar climate index to credit. This can be used to support the operational costs of making recovery loans and as capital to support the making of these loans without exceeding regulatory limits.

Mother holding baby with son behind her in Kenya

The '4Cs' of ARDIS

Climate data

Our partner, Global Parametrics, builds the indexes for the credit and capital products. Data used for this is adapted for ARDIS and its member MFIs to make lending decisions around the potential impact of drought, flood and windstorm on the agricultural season. These decisions drive farming activity for a more productive season and greater benefit for the community.

Malawi Market Fires

The '4Cs' of ARDIS

Catastrophe planning

Recovery lending can seem counterintuitive – lending to a client who is already in debt after a disaster would appear at first to be high risk – but the ARDIS model seeks to inject loans into the market, rather that withhold them. MFIs are encouraged to make loans after smaller local or even individual disasters, from their own balance sheets. In this way, MFIs ensure that they plan for recovery lending programmes from their own balance sheets. Recovery lending can act as insurance for all our clients to assist them, their families and communities to start recovering their livelihoods straight away.