At a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, presented the 10th European Microfinance Award to APA Insurance Ltd of Kenya.
Since 2006, Luxembourg Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the European Microfinance Platform and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg have been awarding a €100,000 prize to the winner and, starting two years ago, €10,000 to the two finalists. This year’s winner, APA Insurance Ltd, is a Kenyan insurance company that provides indexbased agriculture insurance to cover yields and livestock, thus providing farmers with a safety net. Index-based insurance is an innovative approach to insurance whereby payments are linked to easily measured environmental conditions known as an “index” (e.g. the level of rainfall, yields or vegetation levels as measured by satellite) directly connected to the loss of agricultural output. When the index exceeds a particular threshold, farmers automatically receive compensation. In Kenya, where over 75% of farmers are smallholders, who are especially vulnerable to the economic impacts of climate change, APA Insurance Ltd currently covers more than 350,000 families whose livelihoods are largely based on agriculture.
While increasingly unpredictable weather conditions and climate change threaten the already precarious situations in developing countries, Minister Lenert, who chaired the High Jury of the European Microfinance Award, noted that: "This year's Award illustrates that inclusive finance has an essential role to play in strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change, which threaten the livelihoods of disadvantaged communities, especially those relying on agriculture, forestry or fisheries.”
Dr Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, emphasised that “Climate Change is an existential threat for many nations and communities. How we combat and adapt will shape our future. The three finalists of the European Microfinance Award, and APA Insurance Ltd in particular, are delivering innovative solutions for the financial sector to support vulnerable communities in tackling the effects of climate change.”
European Microfinance Award
The only one of its kind in the world, the European Microfinance Award was launched in October 2005 by the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to nurture innovative microfinance initiatives. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu) with the support of the European Investment bank (EIB).
Climate financing by seven of the world’s largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) accounted for $61.6 billion in 2019, of which $41.5 billion (67%) was in low- and middle-income economies, according to the 2019 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance. The study expands the scope of reportingfor the first timeto all countries of operation. It now provides data on MDB climate finance commitments beyond those directed solely at developing and emerging economies, but with the focus remaining on low- and middle-income countries.
The EIB is set to support the development of new treatments for progressive vascular calcification, an area of significant unmet medical need where there are currently no approved treatments. To this end, the EU bank will provide a €20 million loan to Spanish biopharmaceutical company Sanifit, which is developing novel treatments in two disease indications linked to calcification.
The EIB and Italian biotech company EryDel SpA have signed a contract to provide a loan of €30 million to EryDel. This late-stage biotech company aims to develop and commercialise therapies based on its proprietary RBC technology for the treatment of rare diseases. The EU bank’s loan is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe under which the EIB and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners, with the EIB’s financing operations boosting the competitiveness of the European economy.