On 19 March 2018, CCRIF SPC hosted a Stakeholder Retreat in Miami, USA, as part of its 10th Anniversary Celebrations to bring together representatives from member countries, regional organisations and international development partners to help define the facility’s strategic direction to 2030 and determine how CCRIF can further support the countries in the region.
CCRIF has been providing parametric catastrophe insurance coverage since 2007 for hurricanes and earthquakes and – since 2013 – for excess rainfall in the Caribbean, extending into Central America in 2015. Payouts up to December 2017 have amounted to approximately US$130.5 million, all settled within 14 days of the hazard event, and have been critical for immediate response and recovery activities following these devastating events. Governments and donors, which have witnessed first-hand the aftermath of extreme geophysical and climate events throughout the past decade, particularly in the latter months of 2017, have been encouraged by CCRIF’s rapid response and payouts.
Within this context, and as CCRIF enters its 11th year of operations, the facility is exploring scaling up to better serve the countries in the region. For CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony, “charting a course to 2030 is even more an urgent requirement as the impacts of climate change are increasingly affecting CCRIF’s Caribbean and Central American member countries”. The events of the past 2 hurricane seasons certainly supports this.
In his opening remarks, CCRIF Chairman Milo Pearson, informed the almost 50 participants at the Stakeholder Retreat that even following CCRIF’s payouts of US$55 million to 9-member governments after Tropical Cyclones Maria and Irma, CCRIF remains financially solvent with its long-term sustainability intact.
Stakeholders indicated that CCRIF is an exemplar in its field of work and were pleased that the facility partners with member countries to find innovative solutions to cope with improving resilience. They also reiterated the value of membership in CCRIF and supported and welcomed the call for the scaling up of the Facility. Scaling up of CCRIF could include providing increased CCRIF coverage for existing members, adding new members to CCRIF – in both the Caribbean and Central America and maybe even beyond, and introducing new products such as a drought product as well as providing coverage for the agriculture and fisheries sectors and public utilities (eg water and wastewater; energy, including renewables; and telecommunications) and possibly other economic industries such as tourism. During CCRIF’s 10 years in existence, the facility has demonstrated that disaster risk insurance can effectively provide a level of financial protection for countries vulnerable to tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall. Left unchecked, the economic impact of disasters can generate large losses that disrupt long-run economic growth trajectories.
Ideas and strategies emerging from participants included: broadening CCRIF’s research and development capacity; determine how best the facility could provide in-country support for strengthening national comprehensive disaster risk management strategies; and, utilising the CCRIF models and the modelling work undertaken by the facility to enhance country decision making processes around disaster risk reduction among others. Participants also were encouraged by fact that CCRIF in collaboration with the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative will be focusing on increasing the number of low-income persons in the region who have access to climate risk insurance through a micro insurance product known as the livelihood protection policy (LPP) and increase the number of companies in the region offering this micro insurance to the most vulnerable in our societies.
The ideas and recommendations from this retreat, along with information gleaned in a stakeholder assessment conducted in January and February 2018, were channeled into CCRIF’s own strategic planning retreat held on 20 March 2018. CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony, emphasised that these activities will lead toward CCRIF playing its part in helping our region realise CARICOM’s stated ambition of making the Caribbean the first climate-resilient zone in the world.
At the close of the retreat, CCRIF also took the opportunity to launch the CCRIF Online Policy Forum as part of its 10th anniversary efforts to strategically find ways to engage members and stakeholders in defining CCRIF’s way forward to 2030 to better support disaster risk management in the region. The forum is expected to bring together our key contacts from member countries – Finance/Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Finance but could also include key regional organisations, officials in national disaster offices and meteorological offices among others. CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony stated “We hope to use the online forum to discuss key topics related to risk financing, provide updates on CCRIF among others and indicated that the Forum will provide a unique space for officials to engage in open and frank discussion and will provide an opportunity to develop solutions to address common challenges in keeping with the spirit of innovation and building a resilient Caribbean.”
Ministries of Finance from CCRIF member countries
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
- Caribbean Community Centre for Climate Change (CCCCC)
- Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)
- Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)
- Council of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (COSEFIN)
- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
International Development Partners
- Caribbean Development Bank
- European Union
- Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
- Government of Canada
- Inter-American Development Bank
- UK Department for International Development
- World Bank