Belize SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) is providing US$100,000 to the government of Belize to purchase 40-50 automatic weather stations that will provide the Meteorological Service of Belize with access to real-time rainfall data.
The weather stations will significantly improve the government’s ability to monitor, record and forecast rainfall within Belize and better prepare the country for hydrometeorological events, said CCRIF CEO Isaac Anthony, who quoted comments from Belize’s Met Service.
The CCRIF also has supported Belize by funding in 2010 two scholarships to meteorologists, Michele Smith and Shanea Young, to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology at the University of West Indies.
Young built on this opportunity and in 2015, through CCRIF’s Scholarship Programme, was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Master of Science degree in Applied Meteorology at the University of Reading, CCRIF said in a statement.
Belize has been a member of CCRIF since 2007 and currently has CCRIF insurance policies for tropical cyclones and excess rainfall – the latter purchased for the first time last year. The excess rainfall policy was triggered by rains associated with Hurricane Earl in August 2016, resulting in a payout of US$261,073, CCRIF explained.
People in the Ministry of Finance have to find “the funds to deal with all that happens after a hurricane,” said Yvette Alvarez, senior adviser to the Belize Ministry of Finance, noting that the funds from CCRIF, “though small, were welcomed.”
“We’ve never collected under the tropical cyclone part of the policy but we are convinced that it is a policy that we would want to renew on a continuing basis and we continue the dialogue with CCRIF as we look into other products that they are exploring,” she added.
About CCRIF SPC
CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, which is owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to Caribbean and – since 2015 – Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered.