At Opportunity International, we’re always excited to see stories that reflect what we know to be true: that microinsurance is a vital financial tool for people living in chronic poverty throughout the developing world.
On Monday, Jan. 17, PRI’s The World broadcast a piece on NPR about microinsurance policyholders in Barranquilla, Colombia who are taking greater advantage of insurance products both from for-profit insurance companies and from nonprofits. In Colombia, on top of its loan and savings offerings, Opportunity International provides insurance policies for life, credit or crop to more than one million clients. Though NPR‘s piece does illustrate some of the challenges of providing people in poverty with insurance, it also reinforces what we see on a regular basis at Opportunity–that microinsurance, and microfinance in general, can mean the difference between economic survival and economic disaster for people living in poverty in the developing world.
“Experts say [people in poverty] are the most exposed and least protected when it comes to all sorts of hazards. If a family member dies or a crop fails, they may be forced to reduce food consumption, pull their kids out of school, or sell off land and livestock, making them even [more impoverished].”
–Reporter John Otis, “Microinsurance grows in Colombia,” PRI’s The World (NPR, 1/17/11)
Listen to this five-minute podcast and pay special attention to minute two, which features a clip of Opportunity agricultural finance client Henry Kangwelema of Malawi from our video “The True Impact of Crop Insurance.” Read more about Opportunity’s expansion of microfinance, including microinsurance, in Colombia and see it for yourself by joining us on two Opportunity Insight Trips to Colombia in February and June.