The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, launched in December a programme to facilitate insurance against natural disasters and weather-related risks in developing countries. The Global Index Insurance Facility will pay out in case of events above a certain level of severity, without the need for verification of individual claims. The IFC claims this will allow insurers to extend cover to rural and frontier regions. However, as BWP’s 2009 briefing argues, such schemes could displace public or communal insurance schemes that are based on need rather than profit. They are “a step further in linking people’s livelihoods and well-being to international financial markets that are inherently volatile.” The European Commission committed €24.5 million as the first donor to a trust fund that will finance advisory services for governments undertaking necessary regulatory reforms.
World Bank & IMF in the news
EarthRights International examines how the Jam v. IFC case has helped to shift the landscape of accountability for international financial institutions by successfully challenging their claim to “absolute” immunity in US courts, potentially opening IFC up to further legal challenges in future.