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Press Release

Willis Towers Watson joins first-of-its-kind public-private innovation programme for climate and disaster resilience in Colombian cities

The City of Medellín project offers a blueprint to cities across the world to increase access to appropriate and bespoke climate risk management and resilience solutions.

May 27, 2021

Climate Risk and Resilience

LONDON, 27 May 2021 - Willis Tower Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company today announced the launch of a public-private partnership project on disaster risk management and climate resilience for the City of Medellín, Colombia.

Willis Towers Watson and Hannover Re, as members of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), together with the international humanitarian assistance and sustainable development organisation Global Communities, have joined forces to develop resilience strategies in communities susceptible to natural catastrophes in Medellín.

Collaborating closely with the city’s government, the partnership will develop parametric flood and earthquake insurance products, as well as a landslide protection product, for the City of Medellín under its Disaster Risk Management plans and activities.

Héctor Martínez, Country Head at Willis Towers Watson Colombia, said: “Being at the forefront of climate and disaster resilience in Colombia is vital for Willis Towers Watson. This initiative that we have been working on with the city of Medellín helps communities to increase their ability to respond to and recover from disasters, it is the first of its kind in the country and we will continue working with other cities on similar projects.”

Once the products are taken to market, the city government of Medellín will be the policyholder via its fund for disaster risk and emergencies management, Fondo Municipal para la Gestión del Riesgo de Emergencias y Desastres, providing funding for emergencies, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

Pay-outs will benefit local affected communities in accordance with the municipality’s emergency response plans; for example, via food and cash disbursements, and rapid repair of basic infrastructure. The project thus increases the resilience of households, communities and the City of Medellín to climate risks and natural disasters through insurance protection and other resilience measures, serving as a case study for holistic disaster risk management elsewhere in Colombia and around the world.

Global Communities CEO David Weiss said: “Global Communities is proud to partner with public and private sector actors such as Willis Towers Watson and Hannover Re to build climate and disaster risk resilience in Medellín. Drawing on our experience partnering with communities and engaging stakeholders around climate resilience, we see this innovative, data-driven initiative as a model for new ways to support populations most directly impacted by climate change.”

Willis Towers Watson is honoured to accompany Medellín in its quest for climate resilience for its communities.”

Paula Pagniez
Americas Practice Lead, Climate and Resilience Hub

Paula Pagniez, Americas Practice Lead, Climate and Resilience Hub, Willis Towers Watson, said: “Willis Towers Watson is honoured to accompany Medellín in its quest for climate resilience for its communities. Based on the latest science, modelling, and analytics, the consortium will use climate risk insurance to integrate finance and supporting services, bringing protection to the most vulnerable exposed populations.”

The InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF), funded by KfW Development Bank and managed by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, is providing co-funding for the product development of the insurance solution.

This public-private partnership and the Medellín project are part of implementing the Tripartite Agreement between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the IDF, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support risk management solutions for climate-vulnerable countries. The ISF is one of the vehicles used to support the implementation of the joint agreement.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimise benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets, and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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