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Strengthening the Financial Resilience of Small-Scale Fishers

Strengthening the Financial Resilience of Small-Scale Fishers

Project Lead: Rare
Financial Support: The Government of Canada and the UK’s Blue Planet Fund
Location: The Philippines, Indonesia, and Honduras


ORRAA is supporting the expansion of a pilot led by Rare to give small-scale fishers in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Honduras access to insurance products – protecting their livelihoods and helping them, their families, and coastal communities recover from shocks and climate-related events.  


There are approximately 50 million small-scale fishers worldwide, with a further 250 million people employed across the value chain.  However, most workers in this significant sector of the blue economy currently lack the financial literacy or access to basic insurance products that can provide them with a crucial safety net against increasingly frequent storms and other unexpected events.  

In the Philippines alone, 1.4 million small-scale fisheries households rely on the fisheries sector for income and sustenance.1 However, the lack of digital infrastructure and limited access to formal financial services is holding back the economic inclusion and resilience of these remote communities, while increasing the need to overfish to recover from shocks.


After assessing the unique insurance needs of fishing-dependent households and the landscape of available products in seven different coastal communities across the Philippines, ORRAA member Rare partnered with local providers to offer two insurance policies providing life, accident, property damage, and healthcare cover. 

The pilot phase in the Philippines enrolled over 4,000 members in basic livelihood insurance– far exceeding the pilot’s aim of 500. Rare also successfully delivered insurance literacy training to over 2,760 participants – using remote learning platforms and a combination of virtual and in-person training. Over half of subscribers are women working in fisheries, whose earnings are dependent on unpredictable harvests and inconsistent market prices, making insurance an important tool to secure their income and wellbeing.


Scalability and Next Steps

Since the pilot phase and with support from the UK’s Blue Planet Fund, the project has incorporated lessons learned, with a focus on replicating and scaling it across the Philippines and in seven other countries. From 2021 –2022, Rare expanded training and product offerings to 50 new savings clubs in the Philippines while conducting a feasibility assessment to replicate the approach in Indonesia. 

Now in its third phase, Rare is focusing on the expansion of its’ microinsurance programme to 6,500 new policyholders in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Honduras. In the Philippines, the program will expand to 180 savings clubs and a further 35 savings clubs in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia.  

In Honduras, Rare will be conducting a microinsurance landscape analysis and supply and demand studies to understand the conditions of the sector. Ultimately, the project will provide insurance literacy training and access to microinsurance to 22 savings clubs in the municipalities of Omoa, Puerto Cortez, La Ceiba, and Guanaja. 

From 2024 – 2025, Rare aims to analyse replicating the programme to other geographies including – Mozambique, Guatemala, and Brazil – Adding a further 15,000 policyholders.  

  1. Lomboy, C.G., Belinario, F., Pomeroy, R., Pedrajas, J., Tirona, R.S., Box, S., Domondon, P.R., and Balbido-Ramirez, K. Building household economic resilience to secure a future for near shore fisheries in the Philippines. Marine Policy 99, (2019).