EU gives risk insurance facility US$17 million

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The European Union (EU) has donated US$17 million (€12.5 million) to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).

Isaac Anthony, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-appointed board member to the CCRIF and Director of Finance in St. Lucia’s Ministry of Finance, welcomed the donation and said it has important implications for all of the CCRIF’s 16 member governments.

“Last year was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record with a major hurricane formed in every month during the season, and losses on record of over US$45 billion,” he said. “The CCRIF was able to make a quick payout to Turks and Caicos after Hurricane Ike, thanks to the initial high capitalization of the fund. And with experts already making predictions of a very active season in 2009, we know the European Union’s contribution will make it that much easier for us to fulfill our mandate of providing liquidity in the short term, after a catastrophic hurricane or earthquake, which causes damage great enough to prevent a member government from being able to fund its most crucial activities.”

Other non-members of the CCRIF which have donated to the facility’s reserve pool are Canada, Bermuda, the World Bank, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The CCRIF is the world’s first regional insurance fund. It was designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to Caribbean governments by quickly providing financial liquidity when a policy is triggered. The CCRIF is operated by the CGM Gallagher Group through its risk management company, Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd.

The members of the fund are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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