Caribbean countries hit by hurricanes now
have a new source of emergency relief funding, a multi-country
insurance pool introduced by World Bank.
The new plan, called
the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, was unveiled at
an unusual meeting hosted by the World Bank in Washington on Feb.
26 that included representatives of 18 CARICOM (Caribbean
Community) nations and representatives from the donor countries:
the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Japan and the European
The genesis of the
CCRIF was Hurricane Ivan, which devastated several Caribbean
countries in 2004.
the World Bank for its assistance in establishing an insurance
system that would provide countries with immediate liquidity in the
face of a natural disaster and enable them to launch relief efforts
quickly with access to immediate financial funding, said a World
In a show of support
and to get the CCRIF off the ground, the donor countries pledged
and earmarked $47 million for the CCRIFs reserve fund.
The CCRIF member
countries, including but not limited to the 18 Caribbean nations
that attended the Feb. 26 meeting, pay a nonrefundable entry fee
and an annual premium, which varies according to the countrys risk
Pooling the risk
will save the 18 CARICOM countries approximately 40% in individual
premium payments and will allow governments to purchase coverage
that entails early cash payments after a hurricane or earthquake,
according to the World Bank. The amount of individual premiums from
each participating Caribbean country ranges from approximately
$200,000 to $4 million.
The World Bank aims
to make the insurance available for the upcoming hurricane season,
which begins June 1.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers,
send e-mail to [email protected].