Government Receives ???Rain Funds???

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Government now has funds which can go towards the repair of some of those roads which were damaged when heavy rains affected the island last month.

Director of Finance and Economic Affairs, Martin Cox, today received a cheque for BDS$2.56 million from a Director of the CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), Faye Hardy, at Government Headquarters.

This money was made available to the Government of Barbados following the triggering of its Excess Rainfall Insurance Policy with CCRIF, as a result of a trough system which dumped heavy rains on the island on November 21 and 22.

Mr. Cox said the money came at a good time and expressed the view that it would no doubt assist Government in effecting some of the repair work that had to be done.

???It [the cheque] goes into the Consolidated Fund, but we can so arrange things that depending on what the Ministry of Public Works plans, these funds can help with the remedial work,??? he explained.

He pointed out that the island was insured against hurricanes and earthquakes but excess rainfall had been added this year. ???And, we are fortunate that we took that decision to include that in the premium,??? he stated.

Mr. Cox noted that today???s pay out was the second one since CCRIF???s inception in 2007. Barbados received just over US$8 million from CCRIF following the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas in 2010.

Board Member of CCRIF SPC, Desir??e Cherebin, praised the foresight of the Government of Barbados in deciding to purchase an excess rainfall policy during the first year the product was offered.

Mrs. Cherebin stressed, however, that the CCRIF insurance products and risk transfer in general were only part of the disaster risk management equation.

???It is, therefore, important that countries have in place comprehensive disaster management policies and plans and have adequate allocations in their budgets for disaster management and recovery to reduce their vulnerabilities to natural hazards.

???The CCRIF parametric products offer an innovative risk transfer option, and should be included in the disaster risk management strategies for countries vulnerable to hurricanes, excess rainfall and earthquakes. They can also be a critical component of a country???s climate change adaptation framework.

“In purchasing CCRIF insurance as part of its disaster management approach, Barbados has shown that it is taking a proactive approach to disaster management, thereby minimising the effects of natural disasters on its growth prospects,??? she stated.

The CCRIF excess rainfall product is aimed primarily at extremely high rainfall events of short duration, whether they happen during or outside a hurricane. Eight of the 16 CCRIF member countries purchased excess rainfall policies.

To date, CCRIF has paid out approximately US$3.4 million on members??? excess rainfall policies and over US$34 million under its three insurance policies.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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