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AXA and CARE team up for risk prevention education

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The AXA Group is joining with CARE, the international humanitarian NGO, to help vulnerable populations better prepare for climate-related risks.

This three-year partnership is part of a global corporate philanthropy program initiated by AXA to promote risk prevention and education in social, financial and environmental fields.

AXA and CARE have chosen to work together in two areas:

– Where the Rain Falls, an international research project, which will be conducted with the United Nations University in four countries, including India and Thailand. It aims first at better understanding the impacts that changes in rainfall patterns have on vulnerable people regarding food insecurity and migration, and then helping them address these challenges through adaptation projects.

– Programs aimed at raising awareness on natural disaster prevention, targeting communities that are particularly exposed to this type of risks in emerging countries. These projects, whose objective is to reduce the human and economic impacts of such disasters, will be implemented in Vietnam, the Philippines and Madagascar.

Work in both areas began in early 2011. AXA Group’s employees will have the opportunity to actively take part in this partnership, mainly by putting their skills at the disposal of these communities and taking part in Corporate Responsibility International Week events to be held in June in the countries where AXA operates.

Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA, said:

“The natural disasters that have recently shaken the world have demonstrated how important risk prevention is to help reduce such tragic consequences. Our business as an insurer has given us knowledge and expertise in risk management. We wish to share the benefit of this know-how with society, because a better understanding of risks makes it easier to manage and address those risks.

I am delighted with the CARE partnership, which involves the active participation of AXA’s employees who will have the opportunity to make good use of their skills and enthusiasm for our risk prevention training programs.”

Alice Steenland, Corporate Responsibility Director of AXA, said:

“Through this partnership with CARE, we decided to expand the AXA Group’s role in society. The initiatives we selected aim to reduce the economic and human impact of natural disasters on communities in at-risk countries. According to the United Nations, only four percent of the 10 billion dollars invested in humanitarian aid worldwide are currently dedicated to prevention. And yet, as shown by the experience of countries such as China, who spent 3.15 billion dollars between 1960 and 2000 to reduce the impact of floods and avoided an estimated 12-billion-dollar loss, according to a United Nations study1, investing in risk reduction curbs economic loss in the event of a disaster.”

Arielle de Rothschild, Chairman of CARE France, said:

“Millions of people in the world live in situations of chronic vulnerability and insecurity which mean they remain trapped in poverty. Climate change is an increasingly important facet of this vulnerability and disproportionately affects the poorest. This innovative partnership with AXA will benefit from CARE International’s expertise and commitment in working toward a better anticipation of the risks that threaten the most vulnerable communities, finding concrete solutions and moving the debate forward

with decision-makers.”

Dr. Charles Ehrhart, Chief Climate Change Advisor, CARE International, Hanoi, said:

“Climate change is fundamentally altering the risks faced by vulnerable communities around the world.

Last year’s droughts, floods and heat waves contributed to the current spike in food prices. Although events such as these pose an obvious, growing threat, changing rainfall patterns – such as shortened, delayed and less predictable rainy seasons – may prove an even greater threat to global food security.

As the livelihoods of small farmers become more precarious, those with limited capacity to adapt may have to move in search of alternatives. Studies like ‘Where the Rain Falls’ are needed for us to better

understand the implications this may have for development and stability, and to take action to help local populations to prepare for these risks.”

Source : AXA Press Release