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).
The EIB has signed a €100 million loan agreement with Valmet, a Finnish developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. The financing will support Valmet’s R&D response to important global trends, ranging from enhancing raw materials efficiency to efficiency in the use of water and energy, as well as using renewable raw materials and reducing Valmet’s customers’ emissions. The supported R&D will be carried out in Valmet’s locations in Finland and Sweden.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the EIB signed an agreement for a new partnership to support clean and sustainable ocean initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, and ultimately to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
Today, the EIB and the Thuringian Development Bank, Thüringer Aufbaubank (TAB), signed a grant agreement funded by the European Investment Advisory Hub. The Advisory Hub supports the development of advisory capacities and the local delivery of advisory services through a dedicated call for proposals for national promotional banks and institutions. The agreement aims to address the needs of Thuringian municipalities for support in the preparation of sustainable and financially viable projects using various sources of funding and financing.