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Microinsurance scheme for fisheries

Monika Singh
Thursday, February 01, 2018

WITH Fiji and the Pacific being vulnerable to natural disasters, a microinsurance program can be an important resilience tool to help coastal fisheries communities prepare for such disasters and to ensure they are able to rebuild.

Pacific Community's (SPC) fisheries, aquaculture and marine ecosystems director Moses Amos made the statement as they announced their partnership with the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme to conduct research into a new microinsurance solution for the coastal fisheries sector.

Once this research has been completed, PFIP will work with interested financial service providers to develop suitable microinsurance solutions covering the lives and assets of the coastal fishing communities in Fiji and thereafter in other Pacific countries.

The project is funded by the Regional Disaster Resilience in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC), a program funded by the Russian Federation and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.

A joint statement yesterday said while many Pacific Islanders depended on coastal fisheries for both food and income, the sector was vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, which can expose them to severe risks.

It said having appropriate insurance was one way to mitigate the risks and would help to build resilience and the ability to cope with financial shocks arising from natural disasters and other extreme events.

The research will be conducted on the risks, especially those related to natural disasters, faced by small-scale fishers and fishing communities dependent on coastal fisheries for their livelihood.

This research will include a study of the assets owned by these communities and how natural disasters negatively impact those assets and community living standards. PFIP program manager Bram Peters said: "a resilient Pacific is built on a foundation of strong partnerships. Working together, SPC and PFIP will be helping to protect both the costal fisheries industry and the communities which it supports."

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