Speakers at a workshop on Monday called upon the government, development partners and private sector for enabling an environment for inclusive insurance and risk financing for the country's sustainable development, leaving no one behind.
The event titled "Inception workshop on Country Diagnostic on Inclusive Insurance and Risk Finance for Bangladesh" was organised at a hotel in Dhaka, by the Financial Institutions Division (FID), Ministry of Finance, Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah, Secretary, FID, Ministry of Finance, attended the workshop as the chief guest, while Mohammad Joynul Bari, Chairman, IDRA and Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh were the special guests.
Among others, Dr Baqui Khalily, Chairman Risk Management Committee, Bank Asia and Abdullah Harun Pasha, Additional Secretary, FID, Ministry of Finance were also present.
Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah said, "There is an increasing need for decision makers to be involved in developing the insurance products. They also need to understand how climate change risks could affect their investments and how to mitigate those risks through proper planning, incentive structures and financial instruments.
"In this context, to achieve the mission of developing an efficient, inclusive and robust financial market and services system, FID is continuously working on many projects. Being a part of this project is another milestone for our institution to enter the groundwork in inert-related areas of insurance and risk finance."
A.K.M. Mamunur Rashid, Climate Change Specialist, UNDP Bangladesh set the tone of the event.
He provided a brief overview of why inclusive insurance and risk financing are essential for Bangladesh to cover the risks of the most vulnerable communities. Jan Kellett, Team Leader, Insurance and Risk Finance Facility (IRFF), UNDP delivered a presentation on "Initiatives of the Insurance and Risk Finance Facility, UNDP and several best practices in the space of inclusive insurance and risk financing".
Van Nguyen from UNDP said, " I hope that under the leadership of FID, MoF and IDRA as the regulatory authorities, strong representation of the insurance industry and relevant key stakeholders – the country diagnostic will provide us with a clear direction for creating enabling environment for mainstreaming inclusive insurance and risk financing in the country.
"We are committed to continuing our support in the future to strengthen the legislative frameworks, institutional capacity and insurance industry for enhancing the resilience of the most vulnerable communities and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh."
Dr M Baqui Khalily, Chairman, Risk Management Committee, Bank Asia, Nasir Uddin Ahmed, First Vice President, Bangladesh Insurance Association, Netai Dey Sarker, Director, Department of Disaster Management, Government of Bangladesh also spoke at the event.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries due to its low-lying delta ecosystem that exposes the country to several disasters such as flash floods, monsoon floods, cyclones, storm surges, salinity intrusion, draught and unpredictable rainfall, said UNDP.
The government of Bangladesh (GoB) is keen to explore the insurance industry to consider it as a risk transfer mechanism. UNDP is conducting a country diagnostic that will document and assess the risks and vulnerability in Bangladesh considering the existing enabling environment and financial instruments.
The diagnostic study will highlight challenges, opportunities, and areas where UNDP can, together with partners, provide the necessary support for the government and private stakeholders to improve the enabling environment for inclusive insurance and risk financing.