25 March 2024news

Ivan+20 launches in Cayman

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Government, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and The University of the West Indies, has launched Ivan+20 in Grand Cayman

The Ivan+20 Initiative is being spearheaded by CCRIF in collaboration with Caribbean governments and regional organisations to collectively restate their commitments to ensuring that the lessons learned from Hurricane Ivan are never forgotten and that they push forward, take charge, and create the resilient and sustainable future they want. Ivan+20 will include a year-long series of events that will engage Caribbean governments, regional organisations, academic institutions, civil society organisations, the private sector, youth and children as well as the general public.

Ivan+20 will celebrate the Caribbean region’s progress with respect to comprehensive disaster risk management (CDRM) and create the enabling environment for it to collectively vision for the sustainable and resilient future it wants to create in the next 20 years. As Isaac Anthony, CCRIF chief executive, pointed out at the launch, “We are not here to celebrate Ivan, but to celebrate the collective action and the collective will that came out of Ivan. It is about remembering the past and imagining the future as one Caribbean – a set of small island and coastal developing states anticipating changes and building resilience, securing a sustainable future for its peoples and creating a best practice example for other islands and coastal states globally.”

Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004and devastated nine countries in the Caribbean, causing loss of life, destruction of houses and communities, homelessness, damage to infrastructure – including electric utilities transmission and distribution systems, and resulting in regional losses of over $6 billion.

CCRIF is a by-product of Hurricane Ivan: CCRIF as an organisation and the introduction of parametric insurance in the Caribbean were born out of Ivan. Following Hurricane Ivan, CARICOM Heads of Government approached the World Bank for assistance to design and implement a cost-effective catastrophe risk financing mechanism for its member governments that would enable them to access quick liquidity following a natural disaster. The analyses concluded that parametric insurance would be the most suitable disaster risk financing instrument to address this need for quick liquidity and allow governments to meet their most immediate needs following a disaster, including providing support for the vulnerable in their populations. CCRIF was therefore not designed to cover all losses on the ground but to fill the liquidity gap, which occurs long before resources for long-term reconstruction and redevelopment can be accessed. Since CCRIF’s inception in 2007, the Facility has made 64 payouts, totalling $268 million to 17 of its 26 members, all within 14 days of an event.

CCRIF chairman Timothy Antoine informed those in attendance that CCRIF was a solution not only for the Caribbean but “we have also extended our impact to Central America and since 2015 we have continued to grow the membership in Central America. More than that, we have inspired other regions in the world - Africa, the Pacific, and more recently Southeast Asia have all modelled themselves on CCRIF SPC. I make these points simply to show the legacy of Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean and beyond the Caribbean.” CCRIF is the world’s first multi-country, multi-peril risk pool based on parametric insurance.

The launch of Ivan+20 was hosted in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Government as CCRIF is a captive insurance company domiciled in the Cayman Islands. It was also equally fitting that the Ivan+20 launch took place there, as the Cayman Islands was one of the most severely affected countries along with Grenada – with both countries suffering losses that amounted to almost 200 per cent of their 2003 gross domestic product.

Did you get value from this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.