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Ramasseurs de fleurs
Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and its subsidiary PROPARCO have recently signed two new projects in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is recognized for its expertise in inclusive insurance.
AFD has allocated a €2.5 million grant to the ILO to implement risk management solutions for small enterprises and low-income households in Africa. The project will explore the potential for public-private partnerships, between governments and the financial sector, to achieve social and development impact. PROPARCO, for its part, has signed a €900,000 technical assistance grant to the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation to develop a risk management programme with microfinance institutions, with the ILO’s support, to facilitate access to insurance products for rural communities.

Insurance is a tool that protects people against a range of risks, including illnesses and natural disasters, and it is a driver for economic development and social well-being. Yet the penetration rate for insurance in Africa is under 2%. How can we widely implement and ensure the sustainability of insurance products for people excluded from traditional insurance markets in order to increase their resilience to climate, economic and health shocks?   

Innovating for inclusive insurance in Africa
The ILO and AFD have strengthened their partnership to develop responsible and sustainable insurance products, tailored to the needs and capacities of low-income households and small and medium enterprises that are vulnerable to risks related to their health and livelihoods, such as in agriculture. 

To this end, the ILO will help four or five local organizations that are engaged in a public-private partnership to promote better risk management among the target group. Through this initiative, the ILO will provide technical support to selected partners to assist with project management, product development and implementation. Finally, it will document and disseminate lessons on good practices in this area, with a focus on the specific needs of women.

Through this €2.5 million project, some 800,000 low-income households should benefit from innovative and responsible insurance products to allow them to cope with shocks. 

Training microfinance institutions in microinsurance with the ILO
To improve access to better risk management solutions, PROPARCO has strengthened its partnership with the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, a leading player in financial inclusion in rural areas and a partner of AFD Group since 2013. 

A €900,000 technical assistance grant has been allocated to the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation to allow it to set up a microinsurance programme with the ILO. This programme will help train and support the Foundation’s Micro Finance Institution (MFI) partners so that they can add new insurance services to their products, including agricultural insurance. This will allow their clients, vulnerable people who are often excluded from insurance products, such as low-income households, women, smallholders, microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises, to protect themselves better. 


Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation will be able to rely on the expertise of the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility to develop this programme and train MFIs. The Foundation plans to support around a dozen MFIs in Africa and Southeast Asia, with two-thirds located in France’s development policy priority countries

In late 2020, AFD Group had already allocated a €10 million guarantee to the foundation to support microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa during the Covid-19 crisis.