The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative – protecting livelihoods in a changing climate

Climate-related shocks are a threat to the food security of the 1.3 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. To help protect their crops and incomes, Swiss Re and its partners launched the innovative R4 Rural Resilience Initiative.

Insurance promotes risk-taking essential to economic growth and development. But how can the world’s poorest communities afford it?  The answer is simple: you allow them to buy insurance with an asset they have in abundance – their hard work.

This is the innovative idea that formed the basis of the R4 Rural Resilience initiative, a groundbreaking new project launched by Oxfam America and the World Food Programme with the support of Swiss Re.

R4 builds on the success of the Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA) project in Ethiopia. It gives poor farmers and rural households the option to pay for insurance by contributing their time and labour to local climate adaptation measures, such as crop irrigation and forestry projects.



The Rural Resilience Initiative / Oxfam America


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