Caribbean Agencies Create Partnership for Natural Disaster Management

August 21, 2009

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing a partnership to facilitate capacity building and to develop strategies for mitigating the physical and socio-economic impacts of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, on countries in the region.

The MOU was signed August 19, 2009 at the offices of the Caribbean Development Bank in Bridgetown, Barbados., CCRIF Chairman Milo Pearson signed on behalf of the organization; Jeremy Collymore, Coordinator, CDERA signed for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency.

The objectives “are to promote the use of catastrophe risk modeling tools, to introduce new products and initiatives to assist Caribbean governments in better understanding and financing catastrophe risk exposures and to share information on real time hazard and impact information, said the bulletin.

Pearson explained that the “CCRIF’s participation in this partnership will enable the governments in the region to access financial resources in a timely manner to jumpstart their countries’ economic recovery in the aftermath of a major catastrophe disaster.”

In the past two years, the CCRIF has paid out approximately US$500,000 each to Dominica and St. Lucia after an earthquake occurred in 2007 and US$6.3 million to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

The CCRIF continues to work on developing new products, such as an extreme rainfall coverage, that will benefit countries throughout the region.

Collymore added that the “Memorandum of Understanding strengthens CDERA’s ability to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action that aims to reduce countries’ vulnerability to natural hazards.” He noted: that it “represents the launching of a platform to minimize the hemorrhaging of regional assets, particularly in relation to hydrometeorological hazards.”

Nineteen Caribbean governments will benefit from this MOU: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands who are current members of both the CCRIF and CDERA, as well as CCRIF members, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Haiti and CDERA members the British Virgin Islands, Guyana, and Montserrat.

Source: Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility – www.ccrif.org

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