Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses.
An award-winning approach to community flood resilience
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. In keeping with our goal of addressing the risks of climate change, in 2013 we established the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, together with the Z Zurich Foundation. The flood resilience program, which was recognized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate change with a prestigious ‘Lighthouse’ award, was extended for another five years in 2018. We already know that every USD 1 invested in prevention saves on average USD 5 in future losses. With that in mind, in the second five-year phase of the program, members of the alliance will focus on supporting a goal of generating USD 1 billion in additional funding for flood resilience.
Around a quarter of a million people living in 110 communities in nine countries have already benefited from the Alliance’s work. We will continue to introduce and support community programs that demonstrate the value of building resilience. We will also work to extend successful programs to other communities, while advocating for additional investment in resilience from both public and private funders.
The Z Zurich Foundation (ZZF) provides financial support and promotes charitable activities, while putting Zurich’s expertise to work in the service of society. The ZZF, formerly the ‘Jubilee Foundation,’ addresses global challenges affecting humanity. That includes its work to increase flood resilience through our Flood Resilience Alliance launched in 2013. It also encourages and enables long-term community programs, inspiring employees to create tangible change where it is needed most.
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Helping to find sustainable solutions to flooding in Western Nepal
Buddhu Tharu lives near the Budhi Kulo River in western Nepal. Today he is able to support his family by farming land he received from a government grant program. But things weren’t always so easy. When the monsoon rains came, even a slight rise in the river used to force people in his village to flee. As the river rose, it would wash away cropland. After floodwaters receded, Tharu and his family and their neighbors would struggle to survive. But Buddhu Tharu and others in his community are nothing if not hardy and resourceful. Working with the Practical Action organization through Zurich’s Flood Resilience Alliance, as part of a broader program to address risks, they built a structure along the river banks to keep the village safer. Their so-called ‘bio-dike’ made of natural materials also reduced eroding in the fields and now helps to keep the village safer during floods. Working with Practical Action allows Buddhu Tharu and others in his village to stabilize their lives and keep their community together.
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Farmers Insurance1 helps disaster recovery efforts in Houston after Hurricane Harvey
Underscoring its commitment to support communities affected by disasters, Farmers is helping transform lives and communities in Houston following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Through its work with the non-profit group SBP (formerly the St. Bernard Project), in 2018 Farmers sent hundreds of employees to Houston with a goal of welcoming home 100 displaced families. Through these efforts, Farmers is not only changing lives through its claims response, but also through its volunteer efforts.
1 Farmers Group, Inc. provides certain non-claims administrative, management, and ancillary services to the Farmers Exchanges as its attorney-in-fact. The Farmers Exchanges are owned by their policyholders. Directly or through their subsidiaries, the Farmers Exchanges offer home and car insurance, commercial insurance and financial services throughout the U.S.