Swiss Re breakfast in Davos on Ageing, Food Security and Natural Catastrophes

Swiss Re breakfast in Davos on Ageing, Food Security and Natural Catastrophes:

Listen to what our WEF panelists have to say about bridging the financing gap.

On the occasion of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Swiss Re held a roundtable debate to discuss solutions to bridging the financing gaps that governments and individuals around the world can experience in the wake of a natural disaster, or the newer challenge of rising pension costs.

The debate, moderated by Nik Gowing, international broadcaster and journalist, drew a full room of people  to listen to and interact with the panelists: Ernesto Cordero, Minister of Finance Mexico; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director World Bank; Lord Hutton, Chair of the Independent Public Pensions Commission in the UK, and Michel M. Liès, Chairman Global Partnerships, Swiss Re.

Anne Hastings, the CEO of Fonkoze, Haiti's largest micro-finance organization shared information from the floor about a new insurance scheme that has just been rolled out.

You can listen to parts of their commentary in the podcasts below.

Cordero: "In the case of Mexico we learned the hard way to face this type of contingencies. Prevention measures are starting to change things."

Mexico has taken some pioneering steps to strengthen its defences against natural catastrophes. That includes making insurance available to the poorest, ensuring that people don’t settle in the riskiest areas, setting up better building and planning regulations, and putting pre-event disaster financing in place, such as the recent MultiCat Mexico transaction with the World Bank. During the breakfast, Ernesto Cordero, Minister of Finance for Mexico, emphasized the importance of swift disaster recovery, and talked about how the adaptation measures Mexico has taken to protect Villa Hermosa have made a real difference.




Okonjo-Iweala: "We need more risk based products like index based weather insurance to help farmers."

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director World Bank talked about food security. She urged that the world should pay attention to rising food prices, and price volatility. "It could be one of those flashes that sets us back in terms of global recovery after the financial crisis."

 

Lord Hutton: "Pension schemes going forward will need to have far more shock-absorbers built into the system."

Lord Hutton, Chair of the Independent Public Pensions Commission in the UK, talked about the challenges of rising pension costs, and the options that the UK, and many other advanced economies, will have to consider.

 

Lies: "We've seen an enormous increase in natural catastrophes in the past 40 years. More can be done to prepare for these events, and at least from a financial standpoint to speed up the recovery."

Michel M. Liès, Swiss Re's Chairman of Global Partnerships, explained that there is an enormous gap between the catastrophe's that we read about in the press, and the financial losses covered by insurance. One important task is to reduce that gap, and public private partnerships play an important part of that process.


 

Hastings: "I can teach people to accumulate assets, and the next step is to teach them how to protect those assets."

Anne Hastings is the CEO of Fonkoze, Haiti's largest microfinance organization. She told the roundtable participants about a new insurance scheme that has just been rolled out in Haiti, and available to the entire microfinance community:




Published 4 February 2011


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