ADB Supports Kyrgyz Republic’s Efforts to Combat Climate Change

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BISHKEK, KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (28 November 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $38.6 million in development financing to help modernize irrigation systems, improve agriculture and land management, strengthen disaster risk management, and enhance data collection and analysis in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The project, comprising a $21.8 million loan and a $16.8 million grant from the Asian Development Fund, will focus on the Ferghana Valley in the southwestern part of the country and the Chui River Basin in the north, both of which are vulnerable to flooding, mudflows, and drought exacerbated by climate change. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic will contribute $5 million to the project.

Bridging the natural catastrophe protection gap with taxes and insurance

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In a chain reaction of events, the destruction and disruption by natural calamities and disasters lead to financial hardships for households and businesses. And as governments shift their response to these hardships from rescuing lives, to providing relief, and restoring income generation opportunities for households and businesses, predictably they look to raising taxes to finance efforts.

After an earthquake in 2016, for example, Ecuador increased its value added tax (VAT) from 12% to 14% for one year and levied a one-off tax of 0.9% on people with wealth over $1 million and a one-time tax of 3% on business profits. This was in addition to access to $300 million in emergency funding from the Ministry of Finance and a contingency credit line worth more than $600 million from multilateral lenders. And after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Japan introduced a 2.1% temporary surtax on income for 25 years (2013–2037) to finance reconstruction.

ADB hires Kessler from Swiss Re for disaster risk insurance role

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a financial institution that supports economic growth and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, has hired Thomas Kessler, a long-time Swiss Re executive, into a newly created role focused on disaster risk insurance and financing.

Thomas Kessler has been hired by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the role of Principal Disaster Risk Insurance & Finance Specialist.

Kessler originally joined global reinsurance firm Swiss Re in 1994 and worked across a number of regions, including Japan, New York and Zurich. Then between 2012 and 2015 Kessler was seconded to become the Deputy CEO of Vietnam National Reinsurance Corporation, before then returning to Swiss Re and taking a Head of South East & East Asia Global Partnerships role at the firm.