GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday October 24, 2017 – CARICOM is gearing up to host a donor conference to raise funds to help fast-track the rebuilding process in member states battered by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last month.
Secretary-General of the 15-nation grouping, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said he had been mandated by the CARICOM Heads of Government to convene the conference. The event is scheduled to be held next month in New York and will be done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund.
LaRocque pointed out that it was impossible for the economies of the devastated countries to generate enough activity for reconstruction.
Barbuda and Dominica were the hardest hit by the devastating Category 5 hurricanes.
The cost of Maria’s damage on Dominica has been estimated as US$1 billion while no final figure has been attached to the losses on Barbuda. However, the Antigua and Barbuda government has said that rebuilding the island’s public infrastructure would cost upwards of US$200 million.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) announced yesterday that it had approved a grant of US$14 million to CCRIF SPC, formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility.
A CDB release said the grant will provide enhanced insurance coverage to its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) that insure through CCRIF against tropical cyclone, earthquake and excess rainfall risks. The funding will also enable CCRIF SPC to increase its reserves and capital, helping its long-term sustainability.
The CCRIF SPC provides insurance coverage for government risk to Caribbean and Central American countries. This form of insurance is designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic natural events, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a policy is triggered.
“The grant will contribute capital to the Tropical Cyclone and Earthquake Segregated and Excess Rainfall Segregated Port-folios under CCRIF and support the development of new products,” said Cheryl Dixon, coordinator of the CDB’s Environmental Sustainability Unit.
The grant is funded through resources provided to CDB’s Special Development Fund by the Government of Mexico.
After the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, CCRIF SPC made payouts of US$50.7 million to seven countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.