The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) is a strategic partnership between Oxfam America (OA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). R4 was initiated in 2011 to respond to the challenges faced by food insecure communities enduring increasingly frequent and intense climate disasters and other shocks. The program builds on the initial success of HARITA (Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation), an integrated risk management framework developed by Oxfam America, the Relief Society of Tigray (REST), Ethiopian farmers and several other national and global partners. R4 refers to the four risk management strategies integrated in the project to strengthen farmers’ food and income security. The initiative combines improved natural resource management through asset creation or improved agricultural practices (risk reduction), microinsurance (risk transfer), increased investment, livelihoods diversification and microcredit (prudent risk taking), and savings (risk reserves).
The initiative is implemented in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi,
Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Burkina Faso, and will be piloted in Mozambique this year. R4 reached over 87,000 farmers, (benefitting around 545,000 people) during the 2018/19 season. In addition, nearly 6,000 non-R4 farmers have accessed insurance products developed by the R4 initiative, either delivered through non-WFP programmes or by paying their insurance premium fully in cash.
During this quarter, the R4 Initiative expanded to Burkina Faso, targeting its first 700 households in Central North and East provinces. The initiative will also be piloted in Mozambique this year, with activities starting in Gaza and Tete provinces. In Senegal, over 8,000 farmers are insured and in Ethiopia, more than 26, 000 farmers registered for insurance this quarter.
In Zimbabwe, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) proposal for the expansion of R4 in the country was approved during the 23rd Meeting of the GCF Board in Songdo. In Zambia, results from a survey assessing the 2017/18 payout process indicated that insurance compensation was mostly used to buy agricultural inputs, food, and livestock. In Kenya, activities focused on sensitizing farmers for the 2019 Short Rains season, and in Malawi activities during this quarter mainly focused on the risk transfer component.