Delegates from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies met for two days in Bacolod City, Philippines and discussed how microinsurance can protect the working poor against the consequences of natural calamities, such as Typhoon Haiyan or the Nepal earthquake. The objective of this meeting was to provide input to APEC finance ministers who are drafting a long range program called the “Cebu Action Plan.” The program will highlight the importance of providing risk management tools to individuals and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). Participants made a strong case for inclusion of microinsurance, especially for countries with low-insurance penetration by traditional channels. The discussions during the meeting concluded that effective sustainable development can only come about from strengthening the economic infrastructure related to risk and from increasing access to a broad base of financial services.
“APEC member economies together cover more than 66 million lives through different microinsurance products, which represents almost 25% of the world-wide coverage, based on the latest data collected by the Network's World Map of Microinsurance program. There are no easy solutions to providing protection in a disaster context. Insurance is an essential tool for financial protection, but to maximize the resilience of vulnerable people, it must be incorporated into a comprehensive disaster risk framework using measures around prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery." said Michael McCord, the Chair of Microinsurance Network.