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Cenfri launches new website

CenfriThe Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), which is a non-profit think tank based in Cape Town and operates in collaboration with universities in the region, has launched a new website.

The website contains information on all the work carried out by Cenfri, including their areas of work, publications and project opportunities.

Click here to view website

ILO's Facility launches crop insurance scheme in Bolivia

Guardian.co.uk, 19 August 2011

Farmers finally have a much-needed alternative to loans as they seek to safeguard against the ruinous effects of natural disaster. Natural disasters can come with six-digit figures of damage and debt attached, even in Latin America's poorest country. Bolivia's rural areas, still dependent on rain cycles, are the most financially vulnerable to drought, frost, hail, floods and other weather adversities. Lose your crops, farmers say, and you're left with nothing but your debts.

Luis Alvaro Toledo, who's worked in the insurance business for more than 30 years, believes he has a solution. "To think of crop insurance in Bolivia used to be a utopia," he says. "But we're now going to give cheap and accessible insurance to very small farmers."

Toledo leads one of the partners in Bolivia's first crop insurance scheme, which will be rolled out as a pilot project in the southern region of Tarija, on the border with Argentina, before the onset of the rainy season at the end of the year. The scheme, undertaken with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and one of the first of its kind in Latin America, gives triple protection to very small farmers: insurance against the loss of food crops, life insurance in case a close family members dies, and property insurance should tools be stolen or a leaking roof damage food supplies.

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LeapFrog Investments recruits Global Fellow

LeapFrog is currently seeking a Fellow to be based in our European Office located in Edinburgh starting 1 October, 2011. The role is a 12-month commitment.

LeapFrog is a private equity fund that not only targets strong financial returns, but strong social impact. LeapFrog's current fund invests in businesses that provide insurance to low-income and vulnerable people in Africa and Asia. Through its portfolio companies, the fund targets strong financial returns for investors while reaching 25 million vulnerable people with safety nets – 15 million of them women and children. This profit-with-purpose approach has enabled LeapFrog to raise $135 million from leading banks, funds, and investors worldwide while simultaneously being lauded by President Clinton and many other global leaders as “the Insurer to the Poor”.

Fellows will help LeapFrog to source and execute exciting investment opportunities, to grow companies sustainably, and to expand the reach of insurance these markets. Fellows’ responsibilities can include financial modelling, investment due diligence, industry analysis, day-to-day operations, marketing and transaction support. There will also be opportunities to work directly with prospective and current portfolio companies, helping their high impact businesses grow and succeed.

Read job profile

Deadline: 1 Sptember 2011

Information on CIRM's Health Microinsurance Forum 2011

CIRM website, 3 August 2011

Protecting the rural poor and informal sector worker against catastrophic health expenditures and health shocks is a goal most developing countries are struggling to achieve. The rising cost of medical care and lack of access to health financing options is impacting the livelihood of people across the globe. 150 million lives face severe financial hardship and 78 million people were reported to fall below the USD 1 poverty line as a result of health payments in 11 countries of Asia alone.

In this environment, it is increasingly important to share information about work programmes, discuss lessons learned, and review strategic questions in the risk management network. In order to accomplish this goal, Centre for Insurance and Risk Management organised a two day forum on ‘Health Microinsurance’, which took place in July in India. This forum constitutes a platform to bring together innovators and leaders in the space of health microinsurance worldwide.

The main objectives of this forum was to share knowledge, review ongoing health microinsurance programmes and disseminate the latest research results to facilitate discussion on the status of health microinsurance across developing countries.

Click here for more details on the agenda, presentations and session notes