20 April 2021

CCRIF responds to its “moral obligation” with $2.2m grant to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has awarded a $2.2 million grant to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assist in recovery efforts following the eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano.

CCRIF does not currently offer cover for volcanic eruptions, but argued it “has a moral obligation to respond as best as possible to the needs of its members when confronted with such dire circumstances.”

The facility said it is considering formally providing coverage for volcanic eruptions, given there are 19 live volcanoes in the Eastern Caribbean, with every island from Grenada to Saba subject to the direct threat of volcanic eruptions.

Last month it provided a $17,000 grant to the UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) to purchase new communication and ground deformation equipment to be added to those already deployed in St. Vincent.

Isaac Anthony, chief executive officer of CCRIF, said: “This support to the Government has been made possible because CCRIF operates as a developmental insurance company, whereby our members have our commitment to support them in times of crises; seek out opportunities to enable them to enhance their resilience to current and future natural hazards; engage donors and collaborate on programmes designed to reduce vulnerability; negotiate the best prices for reinsurance; and advance disaster risk management and ecosystems-based solutions for the betterment of the peoples of the Caribbean and Central America in keeping with Agenda 2030 and the thrust to leave no one behind.”

CCRIF was the first multi-country risk pool in the world and was the first insurance instrument to successfully develop parametric policies for natural catastrophes. It aims to limit the financial impact of natural hazard events to Caribbean and Central American governments by providing short-term liquidity when a policy is triggered. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been a member of CCRIF since the facility’s inception in 2007.

CCRIF has made a total of 50 payouts to 16 of its member governments, totalling approximately $200 million on their tropical cyclone, earthquake and/or excess rainfall policies.