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WWB, ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility and Zurich work together in Jordan

Microfinance Focus, 29 June 2010

Microfund for Women (MFW), Jordan’s first microfinance programme has recently launched the region’s first gender-sensitive microinsurance product, CareGiver. The products targets to help low-income women better cope with financial burdens associated with a medical emergency. With support from the ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility, MFW and its partner, Women’s World Banking (WWB), are providing this innovative insurance policy to MFW borrowers, of which there are currently 52,000. Ninety-seven percent are women. Clients pay a nominal monthly premium with their loan repayment and receive coverage for each night they stay in hospital. CareGiver is being provided in conjunction with Zurich Financial Services and Al Manara Insurance.

Launched in April, CareGiver (or Ri’aya in Arabic), is designed to help women and their families better cope with the incidental expenses associated with hospitalization, such as medical fees, lost income and childcare. Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of WWB, says: “Women, more often than not, are the family’s primary caregiver. During a health event, there’s more than just medical expenses – lost wages, childcare, even transportation to and from the hospital – all add pressure on that household during a tough time. The CareGiver Programme is designed to address just that issue.”

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