WFP Malawi, Pula Advisors welcome US govt $7billion Climate Action funding


Floods induced by Cyclone Freddy have damaged crop fields in Malawi

Agritech startup Pula Advisors is among the 24 organisations that have joined United States President Joe Biden’s $7 billion private sector programmes to fight climate change.

by helping protecting farmers against the risk of financial losses due to climate-related events.

In Malawi, WFP has been working with the government of Malawi, Pula Advisors, and the Insurance Association of Malawi with NICO as the lead underwriter to provide insurance coverage under the Yield Index Insurance (AYII).

WFP Spokesperson Francis Thawani said the AYII is more responsive and suited for the Malawi context as it covers farmers against multiple risks including droughts, pests (fall army worms, locusts etc), diseases, floods, cyclone.

He said in the 2021/2022 agricultural season, about 65,000 farmers from Balaka Blantyre, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Machinga and  Mangochi were insured through area yield index insurance which triggered pay-outs (insurance claims) equivalent to around USD 1.2 million for 51,300 farmers.

In this vein, WFP Malawi has welcomed the news of extra funding from US government with both hands saying any additional resources to scale up innovative climate-smart solutions is greatly needed so that many farmers can benefit.

“Malawi is one of the countries that contributes the least to the climate crisis yet are experiencing significant loses in terms of lives, livelihoods and harvest due to the frequent occurrence of severe climate events. Cyclone Freddy destroyed farmlands just when farmers were about to harvest the only crop of the year. And when you consider that 80 percent of the people depend on smallholder agriculture for survival it compounds an already difficult year in which 3.8 million need food assistance,” he said

Pula last week agreed to rev up their support for small-scale farmers in the region following a call by US Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to three African countries. 

The plan dubbed President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) will see Pula increase their coverage to 100 million smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa.

The startup said in a statement that the programme will be achieved by providing up to $20 billion in insurance coverage by 2026.

This comes at a time sub-Sahara Africa is grappling with the impact of climate change that has led to reduced production and earnings as well as skyrocketing food prices in the region. 

‘’These new investments and initiatives will generate significant economic benefits while addressing African nations’ pressing needs resulting from the climate crisis, including food security challenges, by helping to lift over 116 million farmers and promote climate-smart agriculture,” the White House stated.

Under the insurance coverage run by Pula smallholder farmers pay ($20) for ($200) of insurance coverage. 

Mastercard has also committed to connecting 15 million people in Africa to the Community Pass platform by 2027.

The companies drawn from different sectors have made over ($7 billion) in new commitments that will be directed toward adopting solutions to enhance climate resilience, transition to clean energy and increase agricultural production.

Community Pass leverages digital technology utilising farmer’s data such as production volume, sales and transactions to access to credit, markets and extension services while raising their returns. 

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