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Climate risk insurance

Flooding during the rainy season in Bentiu, South Sudan

Climate change has an influence on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events worldwide. Developing and emerging economies are particularly exposed, because the climatic changes are threatening to undo development progress. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused severe devastation: on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, 95 per cent of all building were destroyed. Thousands of people in the region lost their homes. Such events often also cause enormous financial damage. Economic losses caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in 2016 amounted to one fifth of the country's gross domestic product – money that could have been invested in health, education or rural development.

As part of its development cooperation, Germany supports climate risk management worldwide. However, even good risk analyses and preventive measures cannot completely avert damage caused by extreme weather events. Thus, comprehensive climate risk management also means developing strategies for coping with risks – such as the loss of livestock or damage to infrastructure – that may become more common as a result of climate change. Climate risk insurance is one tool that can help people cope with the consequences of extreme weather events.

InsuResilience Global Partnership – A platform for action

InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions

Between 1980 and 2012, emerging and developing economies sustained ten per cent of all damage worldwide, but only one per cent of all insured damage. 26 million people fall into poverty every year as a result of extreme weather events. Many do not only lose all their assets but also their livelihoods because they lose their crops or their cattle. This can result in illness, malnutrition and forced migration.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions, which is supported by the German government, seeks to address these issues. The Partnership unites representatives of the G20, the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20, the world's nearly 50 poorest and most vulnerable countries), and representatives of international organisations, the private sector, civil society and research institutions. Together, they develop and implement solutions to deal with risks arising from climate change and natural disasters.

The Global Partnership is based on the G7 InsuResilience initiative, which was founded in Elmau in 2015 with the aim of insuring an additional 400 million poor and vulnerable people against climate risks by 2020. The Global Partnership also seeks to strengthen countries' resilience in general and to provide new solutions for climate risk financing and insurance.

Since 2015, 700 million US dollars has been made available for the implementation of the InsuResilience initiative. In October 2018, the German government joined forces with the UK and the World Bank to set up a new financing instrument, the Global Risk Financing Facility (GRiF). The Facility has been provided with 145 million US dollars and is intended to make a key contribution towards the implementation of the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

Logo: InsuResilience Global Partnership
Infographic on the topic of "InsuResilience"
  • Storm damage on the Caribbean island Dominica after Hurricane "Maria" in September 2017
    InsuResilience Global Partnership in depth

    A global partnership within the framework of the G20 and the V20

    During Germany's G20 Presidency, climate risk financing and insurance was a prominent issue on the agenda of this group of major industrialised and emerging economies.

  • Storm damage on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia
    Background

    The InsuResilience initiative

    At the initiative of the BMZ, the G7 countries launched the InsuResilience initiative at Elmau in 2015. At COP23 in Bonn in 2017, the initiative was transformed, becoming the more comprehensive InsuResilience Global Partnership.

Storm damage on the Caribbean island Dominica after Hurricane "Maria" in September 2017
InsuResilience Global Partnership in depth

A global partnership within the framework of the G20 and the V20

During Germany's G20 Presidency, climate risk financing and insurance was a prominent issue on the agenda of this group of major industrialised and emerging economies. One key goal of the Climate and Energy Action Plan adopted at the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017 is to strengthen the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people. This also means further expanding financing and insurance solutions for climate risks.

The G20 countries hence supported the creation of a Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions, which is to build on the InsuResilience initiative launched by the G7 in Elmau in 2015. Simultaneously, the V20 – the group of the world's nearly 50 most vulnerable developing countries – voiced their interest in increasing their cooperation with the G20 on this topic.

At COP23 in Bonn in 2017, the BMZ joined forces with Fiji, Ethiopia, the World Bank and the UK to launch the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions, as a joint G20 and V20 initiative.

Improving resilience against climate risks

The aim of the Global Partnership is to increase the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in developing countries against climate risks. The expansion of climate risk financing and insurance instruments is intended to enable governments and households to respond more quickly and effectively to natural disasters, thus minimising potential costs. Moreover, by providing the right incentives, the Partnership seeks to encourage governments to better prepare for the risks of climate change by putting in place contingency plans and stocking seed reserves, for example.

Combining the expertise and experience of all major stakeholders

To this end, the Global Partnership is to bring together the expertise and experience of all major stakeholders. It therefore unites representatives of developing and industrialised countries, international organisations and development banks, the private sector, civil society and academia. Together, they develop ideas on how to provide financial protection against climate and natural disaster risks, and implement these ideas – in line with country-specific needs and with the challenges faced by the poorest population groups.

More than 50 partners such as governments, international and civil society organisations, private sector representatives and scientists, implementing organisations, initiatives and development programmes have already joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

The Partnership provides a broader basis for InsuResilience: beyond the InsuResilience target of giving an extra 400 million people insurance, partners aim to strengthen countries' overall resilience and further reduce the protection gap.

A high-ranking steering body provides strategic leadership for the Global Partnership. Implementation takes place through the Partnership Forum – a network where experts can exchange experience – and through the Program Alliance, which provides funding and advice to developing countries and coordinates donor programmes.

Detailed information on the Partnership can be found in the Joint Statement on the InsuResilience Global Partnership (PDF 376 KB) and in the related Concept Note (PDF 745 KB).

What kind of projects does the InsuResilience Global Partnership support?

The Global Partnership's ambitious goal is to be achieved through a combination of various measures in various regions. The focus is, firstly, on expanding existing indirect risk insurance facilities and developing new insurance schemes, and, secondly, on expanding risk financing provided by governments in vulnerable regions. In addition, measures are undertaken to develop insurance markets, foster adaptation, and support capacity development in poor and vulnerable countries.

More information on the projects supported by InsuResilience can be found on the website of the initiative: www.insuresilience.org

What has been achieved so far?

Since its start, InsuResilience has achieved a great deal: based on the 700 million US dollars pledged up to 2018, the initiative has been able to help expand existing insurance schemes and develop new schemes.

New funding is intended to assist governments in expanding their risk financing activities to improve their preparedness for natural disasters and negative climate impacts through comprehensive risk management strategies.

In October 2018, the German government joined forces with the UK and the World Bank to set up a new financing instrument, the Global Risk Financing Facility (GRiF). It is intended to make a key contribution towards the implementation of the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

Storm damage on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia
Background

The InsuResilience initiative

At the initiative of the BMZ, the G7 countries launched the InsuResilience initiative at Elmau in 2015. Its purpose is to provide access to insurance against climate risks to an additional 400 million poor and vulnerable people in developing countries by 2020. At COP23 in Bonn in 2017, the initiative was transformed, becoming the more comprehensive InsuResilience Global Partnership.

Just like the InsuResilience initiative, the Global Partnership is being implemented based on close cooperation with developing countries, especially with the V20, the group of the world's nearly 50 most vulnerable developing countries. Civil society, the insurance industry, international organisations, development banks and academia are also important partners.

At the Paris climate negotiations in 2015 (COP21), the G7 countries pledged a first round of support to the amount of 420 million US dollars for InsuResilience. The volume of support has since increased, reaching a total of about 700 million US dollars.

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How does climate risk insurance work?

Climate risk insurance provides a financial safety net against the damage caused by extreme weather events, which are growing more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change. In direct insurance schemes, individuals or businesses are insured against risks such as crop loss. They then receive immediate assistance when needed.

With indirect insurance schemes, countries take out insurance against climate risks, either individually or as part of a risk pool. When damage occurs, they quickly receive financial compensation that can then be used to assist the people affected, especially poor and vulnerable people.

Flooding in Mozambique

What is risk financing?

Effective risk financing consists of a range of different instruments that can cover financing needs related to extreme weather events of different intensity and frequency. Climate risk financing is most effective if it is part of a country's broader risk management strategy and if provision is made for it in the government's budget and credit lines.

In an emergency, climate risk financing gives governments quick access to funding, reducing the strain on the budget and providing security and predictability. In that context, it is vital to define in advance how the funding will be paid out after a disaster so that the poorest and most vulnerable groups will really benefit.

A woman farmer with her herd of goats in northwestern Kenya, which is affected by drought.

Why is there a need for risk financing and climate risk insurance?

Quick emergency relief and swift recovery

Insurance schemes and risk financing facilitate quick emergency relief and swift recovery after disasters. After a disaster, valuable time passes while the international community and aid organisations are working hard to raise money. Often, it takes weeks or even months before the survivors receive assistance. More and more governments are realising that preparedness is cost-effective and advantageous because natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more extreme as part of climate change. The governments are taking account of these risks in their budget planning in order to protect human lives, livelihoods, but also the national budget from the impacts of climate change.

Risk financing and climate risk insurance are based on a preparedness approach. This enables governments to pay out money to survivors within a few days after an emergency. This saves people's lives and assets, and it protects development gains that have already been made. In other words, risk financing and insurance schemes help to reduce poverty, attain sustainable development and also reduce the economic push factors of migration.

Entitlement to compensation for losses

Climate risk insurance gives insurance holders the certainty that they will really receive assistance after a disaster, because they are legally entitled to compensation for losses incurred. This means that survivors of disasters are no longer reduced to supplicants. They can do something to secure their livelihoods.

Incentives for preventive action and risk reduction measures

Moreover, risk financing and insurance policies provide incentives for preventive action and risk reduction measures, both on the part of governments and on the part of individuals. For example, drought insurance contracts are based on systematic risk assessments. If an insured party takes action to reduce risks, for example by planting drought-resistant varieties, the insurance premium may be lower. This enhances awareness of the development of adaptation measures and encourages risk management to improve disaster preparedness. Moreover, regional risk pools require that contingency plans are in place before a party can enter into an insurance contract. These contingency plans make sure that disbursed funds are used effectively. Thus, people in need can benefit quickly from disbursements after a disaster.

Public-private partnerships

Public-private partnerships, too, are a way of helping to put the resources of the insurance industry to use for the benefit of climate change adaptation and development. In that way, the private sector's expertise and access to data, risk models and capital can be tapped for climate risk insurance schemes for poor and vulnerable people. For example, remote sensing instruments facilitate swift and nationwide damage assessment after an extreme weather event. This also fosters the development of local insurance markets.

Indirect insurance

African Risk Capacity (ARC)

Germany has played a major part in the establishment of three regional risk pools in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. In Africa, the African Risk Capacity (ARC) has been set up to cover drought risks. A special feature of ARC is that each government prepares a contingency plan in which it defines in advance how insurance payments are to be deployed in the event of a disaster. This makes it possible to provide assistance to survivors very quickly and effectively. In the longer term, new insurance products will be developed for African countries to cover floods and heavy winds.

The BMZ also helps aid agencies such as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Start Network to take out insurance themselves from the African Risk Capacity. This makes it possible to pay out additional resources in an emergency that can be used by WFP and other organisations. (This model is called ARC Replica Coverage.) In this way, climate risk insurance can become an important element of the reform of the humanitarian system towards a greater focus on preparedness.

Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI)

For the Pacific region, G7 members Germany, UK, USA and Japan joined with the Pacific island states and the World Bank in 2016 to found a new risk insurance programme, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI). PCRAFI offers insurance products to cover tropical cyclones and earthquakes. Five island states are currently policyholders: the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, the Marshall Islands and Samoa. For example, following cyclone Gita in early 2018, PCRAFI paid out 3.5 million US dollars to Tonga just seven days after the disaster.

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)

With support from InsuResilience, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was expanded to include Central America. Nicaragua was the first Central American country to join, in 2016. CCRIF offers coverage against hurricanes, earthquakes and heavy rains. Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Haiti received more than 23.4 million US dollars from CCRIF within two weeks, enabling the country to provide food and emergency shelter for 1.4 million people, buy medicines for children and restore the roofs of schools, churches and courthouses.

Most recently, more than 50 million US dollars was paid out to Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti, the Bahamas and Dominica following the devastation wreaked by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Since its establishment in 2007, CCRIF has thus already paid out nearly 100 million US dollars to help its members cope with extreme weather events quickly.

House destroyed by earthquake in Haiti

Direct insurance

As part of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, policy recommendations are being drawn up for insurance markets in developing countries. Private enterprises are important partners in this regard – not only because they are able to provide risk capital but also because they have knowledge, data and innovative technologies.

The Global Partnership also supports the development of sustainable climate risk insurance solutions for private market players (such as insurance companies) and for government institutions, by developing information campaigns for the broader public and supporting innovative approaches (such as mobile technology) to reach poor and vulnerable population groups.

Nomad with water canister in Kenya
  • Village in the Somali region of Ethiopia where nomads have settled due to the continuing drought.
    Africa: Cooperation in action

    Policies to cover the impacts of drought

    Drought poses a particular risk for African countries, and climate change will exacerbate the problem. In the past, little has been done to address the economic consequences of this. But that is now changing.

  • Flooding in the Peruvian city of Piura in March 2017
    Peru: Cooperation in action

    InsuResilience Investment Fund

    In the first half of 2017, Peru experienced the worst rainfall and landslides since 1998. Public facilities, including hospitals, were flooded; homes were destroyed. Some small villages were completely cut off.

  • Awareness raising on weather insurance in Mumbwa, Zambia
    Cooperation in action

    Development of insurance markets

    As part of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, the German Development Ministry supports activities to develop insurance markets in India, Zambia, Paraguay and Madagascar.

  • Rice harvest in Bangladesh
    India: Cooperation in action

    Satellite technology protects rice farmers against crop failure

    In 2017, after a severe drought, more than 200,000 small farmers in Tamil Nadu, India, received compensation from the national crop insurance programme. The damage was measured quickly and precisely through satellite technology.

Village in the Somali region of Ethiopia where nomads have settled due to the continuing drought.
Africa: Cooperation in action

Policies to cover the impacts of drought

Drought poses a particular risk for African countries, and climate change will exacerbate the problem. In the past, little has been done to address the economic consequences of this. But that is now changing.

As part of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, Germany and the United Kingdom are supporting the African Risk Capacity (ARC). When a drought hits, ARC finances a contingency plan that has been agreed in advance with the country in question and has been approved by a panel of independent experts. The insurance is designed in such a way that it creates incentives to improve resilience to drought and thus reduce the risk of future damage.

The first insured event occurred in 2015, when 1.3 million people affected by drought in Niger, Mauritania and Senegal received assistance thanks to ARC, such as food and animal fodder, to an overall value of 26 million US dollars. This made it possible to save some 500,000 head of livestock.

All African Union member states can take out insurance from ARC. At present, five African countries have taken out drought insurance: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Gambia.

In the longer term, new insurance products will be developed, for instance against floods and heavy winds. They will help countries respond promptly to extreme weather events. This will benefit small farmers in particular, whose very survival can be jeopardised by the loss of just one crop.

Flooding in the Peruvian city of Piura in March 2017
Peru: Cooperation in action

InsuResilience Investment Fund

Climate change can be felt in many places, for instance in Peru. In the first half of 2017, the country experienced the worst rainfall and landslides since 1998. Public facilities, including hospitals, ​were ​flooded; homes were destroyed. Some small villages were completely cut off. The floods affected more than half a million people and killed at least 70. The long-term consequences of the disaster particularly affect small farmers and small business owners. Some of them have lost their entire livelihoods.

Most people in developing countries have no kind of insurance against the effects of floods, heavy winds and droughts. This means that such events can quickly plunge them into poverty. Every storm, every shower makes farmers fear for their crops. But in the end, who will pay for broken dykes, destroyed buildings and lost crops?

The InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), which was set up under German development cooperation in 2015, supports the introduction and enhancement of insurance products that can cover people against climate damage, including in Peru. It invests in local insurance companies and financial institutions, such as the local microfinance institution Caja Sullana in Peru, and provides technical expertise to assist them.

The IIF has enabled Caja Sullana to offer insurance against the consequences of floods and droughts for small farmers and small to medium-sized enterprises. Following two floods (including the flood in March 2017) and a drought, a total of 466 farmers and small business owners received 630,000 US dollars in insurance benefits. This has enabled farmers to rebuild and replant their fields, and it has enabled business owners to repair damaged buildings.

So far, the IIF has provided 54 million US dollars and technical assistance for eleven qualified insurance providers and other companies that offer climate risk insurance to poor and vulnerable households and small enterprises in developing countries. In order to enable the IIF to develop even more insurance products, the Fund was opened for private investors in mid-2017. Three private investors have since contributed 30 million US dollars. In the long run, the target is for the IIF to protect about 100 million poor and vulnerable people in developing countries through its current and future investments.

Awareness raising on weather insurance in Mumbwa, Zambia
India/Zambia/Paraguay/Madagascar: Cooperation in action

Development of insurance markets

As part of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, the German Development Ministry supports activities to develop insurance markets in India, Zambia, Paraguay and Madagascar.

India

A project in India supported under the InsuResilience Global Partnership seeks to make the market more sustainable through the introduction of innovative climate risk insurance. In this context, "innovative" means that insurance becomes more affordable and accessible for poor and vulnerable people, for instance by expanding the target group beyond farmers, by introducing new technologies or by covering a broader range of events.

Activities in India address two main aspects. The first is the introduction of a whole package of new products. They include individual savings plans, a credit component, and insurance against natural disasters. This enables clients to reach their long-term savings goals, with the natural disaster insurance cushioning financial shocks after extreme weather events. The insurance covers monthly savings contributions and monthly loan instalments as well as, on an optional basis, the loss of a home – a novelty in India. Suitable client groups are primarily farmers and, to a lesser extent, also labourers and micro entrepreneurs.

The second aspect is the development of satellite-based flood index insurance. Some initial efforts to map flood events based on free satellite data have been carried out jointly with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The goal is to develop an automated flood detection system as a basis for the payment of insurance benefits. Satellite-based flood index insurance enables low-income households in developing and emerging economies to get more affordable and comprehensive protection.

Zambia

In Zambia, 53 per cent of the workforce work in the agricultural sector. Most of them are smallholders with less than five hectares of land who have few resources to increase productivity and hedge production risks. Weather events such as a rainy season that starts late, periods of drought, inadequate and irregular rain, but also excessive rain can lead to high crop losses against which small farmers have no protection. Weather insurance can help them to reduce these risks and increase their resilience. This is addressed by a project supported under the InsuResilience Global Partnership which fosters the sustainable development of the agricultural insurance market in Zambia.

For several years now, NWK Agri-Services, a cotton company, has been offering smallholders index-based weather insurance based on satellite data to cover dry periods, droughts and heavy rains. In addition, clients can take out life insurance. This voluntary insurance scheme does not require subsidies for premiums. Under a contract farmer model, NWK advances the premiums for the smallholders, together with other agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertiliser. The farmers, in turn, make a commitment to sell their cotton to NWK at the end of the season. Their earnings from the sale of the cotton and the potential disbursements from the weather insurance are used to pay off the loan. Surpluses are paid out directly to the farmers. The insurance scheme has given farmers the confidence to make more investments, which has translated into bigger volumes of cotton that NWK can buy, thus also strengthening the company's business model. During the 2015/16 season, 52,000 of 70,000 small farmers decided to buy the insurance package. More than 23,000 smallholders received insurance benefits after a drought.

Since 2016, the BMZ has been financing activities in Zambia geared towards strengthening the insurance model of NWK; ensuring that the model is sustainable; and exploring avenues for spreading it throughout the country. Through additional training, improved information for farmers and greater public attention, confidence in the market is to be further enhanced. The purpose of these efforts is to encourage others to imitate the insurance model, giving more smallholders access to weather insurance. The example of NWK shows that index-based weather insurance can be a sustainable business model for agricultural enterprises.

Paraguay

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy for Paraguay's approximately seven million people. Agriculture accounts for about 26 per cent of gross domestic product and employs some 40 per cent of the people. Nearly one third of the country's poor people live in rural areas. They are increasingly confronted with the consequences of climate change. According to the international EM-DAT disasters database, floods, storms and droughts are the most frequent extreme weather events in Paraguay – and their frequency is increasing, as is the damage they cause.

In order to enhance rural people's resilience to disasters, Germany has been supporting the FortaleceRES project through its development cooperation since 2016. The project focuses on developing agricultural, climate and life insurance products in eastern Paraguay. It targets primarily small farms – often farms run by women or indigenous communities.

Under the project, the country's public agricultural bank (Crédito Agrícola de Habilitación, CAH) is developing index-based weather insurance for its loan clients. If an extreme weather event occurs, they receive payments which enable them to respond more quickly and effectively to a disaster. This prevents negative coping strategies such as the sale of livestock.

Another key partner for the project is the Social Affairs Ministry (Secretaría de Acción Social, SAS). It is planning to provide the 13,000 beneficiaries of a life and disability insurance programme with a disaster insurance that would also protect them against heavy rains and extreme drought. And the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería) and the national insurance supervisory authority (Superintendencia de Seguros) are receiving advice on various forms of agricultural insurance.

FortaleceRES is thus contributing towards expanding the InsuResilience Global Partnership, which was launched at COP23 in Bonn in 2017 and has the aim of insuring, by 2020, an additional 400 million poor and particularly vulnerable people in developing countries against climate risks.

Madagascar

Due to its geographical location and its people's dependency on natural resources, Madagascar is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The agricultural sector, one the country's most important industries, is particular affected. Agriculture is also the major source of livelihood for most of the country's poor.

Within the framework of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, PrAda, a project for the adaptation of agricultural value chains to climate change, began in early 2018 to provide support to the dissemination of climate risk insurance.

Innovative climate risk insurance products are being developed in three southern regions – Androy, Anosy and Atsimo-Atsinanana. The main partners of the project are insurance regulation authorities and national insurance companies. The cooperation between the InsuResilience Global Partnership and PrAda focuses on providing expertise in support of the key stages of project delivery in Madagascar, ensuring access to climate data tools, and disseminating the findings of the project internationally.

Rice harvest in Bangladesh
India: Cooperation in action

Satellite technology protects rice farmers against crop failure

In 2017, after a severe drought, more than 200,000 small farmers in Tamil Nadu, India, received compensation from the national crop insurance programme. The damage was measured quickly and precisely through satellite technology, which made it possible to compensate farmers swiftly for their lost rice crop. The response was based on the RIICE project.

RIICE stands for Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies. The project was set up in 2012 and has been assisting South East Asian countries and India in swiftly responding to imminent crop failure and enhancing farmers' income security. The initiative involves monitoring rice cultivation areas and insuring them against extreme weather events. It evolved from a partnership between Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Swiss Re, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), sarmap SA (a software company), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Some 90 per cent of the world's rice is produced in Asia. Many farmers' livelihoods there depend on rice. However, the entire region is faced with extreme weather conditions: floods, typhoons and droughts are very common, frequently wiping out entire harvests. RIICE enables small farmers to take out efficient crop insurance, making it possible to provide financial compensation quickly and providing governments with the necessary information for their emergency response.

In 2015, large sections of Tamil Nadu were flooded, destroying the newly planted fields of more than 400 rice farmers. Thanks to satellite data, it was possible to estimate the damage within a few days and provide farmers with new seedlings.

Two years later, Tamil Nadu was hit even harder. The worst drought in more than 140 years left the entire region parched. Thanks to information from RIICE, more than 200,000 rice farmers received an average of 195 euros each within three months to make up for their lost crops. Without the data, compensation would have taken up to a year. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, the highest-ranking government official for agricultural affairs in this South Indian state, said: "RIICE remote sensing technology (...) allows us to assess crop loss and damages in a more transparent and timely manner. This was particularly useful during the last cropping season to identify villages that had been hit by drought (...) in a record time."

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