Zurich and Practical Action team up in a global flood resilience alliance

Zurich and Practical Action team up in a global flood resilience alliance

Practical Action and Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) have formed a significantly enhanced £6.4 million alliance in building community resilience to disasters, especially flooding which affects more people globally than any other natural hazard.

This 5 year agreement will support the development of innovative tools and approaches to improve the wellbeing of flood vulnerable communities in the developing world. It will help to save the lives and livelihoods of thousands of the most-poor, with the learning being scaled-up and shared more widely around the world.

It will draw on Zurich’s extensive insurance and risk expertise around the world, while Practical Action will provide both technical innovation and community expertise resulting from almost 50 years of work in some of the most challenging environments of Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

The initial work will be in Nepal, looking at the issues around flash floods, and in Peru where the focus will be on flood resilience in an urban setting. 

CEO of Practical Action, Simon Trace, said: “I am delighted to announce a major expansion of Practical Action’s relationship with Zurich. Over the next 5 years, recognising the link between poverty, vulnerability and disasters, this enhanced alliance will allow us to collaborate even more closely together in the vital area of flood resilience.

"Our common vision will focus on finding innovative ways for our organisational strengths to increase the impact of disaster risk reduction efforts at the community, national and global levels, thereby benefiting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the developing world”.

Thomas Sepp, Chief Claims Officer of Zurich’s General Insurance business and leader of Zurich's Flood resilience program, comments: "We are aiming to maximize our community impact through establishing a long term alliance with Practical Action.

"Combining Zurich's risk expertise with the core strengths of Practical Action which include technical innovation on the ground in challenging environments, excellent mechanisms for sharing learning from those innovations and a robust track record in disaster preparedness activities will help us to strengthen and refine our approach to supporting vulnerable communities.

"Our experience with Practical Action over the past years has shown us that working together with them will align well with, and complement, the other alliances that we've formed as part of our global flood resilience efforts."

The significantly enhanced alliance builds on the previous relationship between Practical Action and Zurich, which began in 2008 and saw support of programmes in Bangladesh and Peru. (Funding for this alliance is provided by the Z Zurich Foundation, a private foundation established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd.)

Practical Action: the facts

Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Our strength is our approach. We do not prescribe a solution. Instead, we find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology, we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions.

Last year, we helped almost one million people improve their lives by getting access to basic services such as drinking water or household energy, securing employment and an income, improving their food supply or reducing their vulnerability to the effects of natural disasters.

In addition, more than two million people benefitted from our knowledge sharing service, Practical Answers, thereby transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.

For more information about Practical Action, visit

Information about Zurich can be obtained from:

Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
Mythenquai 2, 8022 Zurich, Switzerland
SIX Swiss Exchange/SMI: ZURN, Valor: 001107539

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