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The IDF is a public/private partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by international organizations.

The IDF was developed with the support of the Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience, was first announced at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) Paris Climate summit in December 2015 and was officially launched by leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance industry at a High-Level meeting in April 2016.

The IDF aims to optimize and extend the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses, and public institutions that are vulnerable to climate, disaster and wider risks and associated economic shocks institutions with the goal of closing the growing Protection Gap.

The global resilience challenge
Economic and humanitarian risks associated with catastrophic weather and climate-related hazards are increasing, representing a major challenge to global resilience, particularly in middle/low-income countries. This challenge was highlighted by the recent adoption of global agreements (Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; Sustainable Deployment Goals 2030; and the COP21 Paris Agreement) which have formed the Post-2015 Agenda.

The protection gap
Presently, 70% of economic losses from natural hazards remain uninsured and in middle/low-income countries the uninsured proportion of economic losses often exceeds 90%. The initial focus of the IDF partnership is to help close this protection gap - thus building global resilience and protecting economies.

The role of insurance
Growing evidence documents that countries with greater penetration of insurance coverage recover faster from disasters. Research has shown that a 1% increase in insurance penetration can reduce the disaster recovery burden on taxpayers by 22%. A key goal of the Post-2015 Agenda is to take a risk-based approach to manage the risks of extreme events and climate. Within the frameworks that form the Post-2015 Agenda, insurance is explicitly recognised as a key vehicle to enable the risk sharing and transfer solutions required for greater global resilience.

The need for greater coordination and collaboration
Efforts to improve global resilience and address the protection gap have to date been primarily driven by a handful of private/public stakeholders. Given the scale, scope and complexity of the resilience and protection gap challenge, a coordinated and collaborative approach bringing together the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders is recognised as critical to meeting the goals of the Post-2015 Agenda.