World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Pacific Island Nations Against Natural Disasters Program


Program to Insure Pacific Island Nations Against Natural Disasters Enters Third Season

Governments of Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, and the Marshall Islands request extension of Successful Regional Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot

SYDNEY, November 3, 2014 – The beginning of the month marked the start of the third season of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot. Launched on 17 January 2013, the pilot helps reduce the financial vulnerability of small island nations to natural disasters. This regional sovereign insurance program is made possible through the collective efforts of the Government of Japan, the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).The third season will run from November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015 and is comprised of five members the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

The program has already proven its rapid response capability as Tonga received a payout of US$ 1.27 million on January 23, 2014¯two weeks after Cyclone Ian swept across the nation’s Ha’apai Island group displacing thousands, devastating crops and infrastructure. According to reports, up to 75 percent of buildings had been damaged in the affected area.

"The cash received from the risk insurance pilot made an important financial contribution for carrying out the governments’ strategy for mitigating natural disasters”, said Hon. Dr. ‘Aisake Valu Eke, Minister of Finance, Tonga. “Thanks to this initiative, Tonga is now on its way to recover without interruption ensuring people can return to their everyday lives quickly”.

The third season aims to build on this momentum by providing a full spectrum of both financing and physical disaster risk management tools to Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Working together, PICs have been able to secure aggregate insurance coverage worth US$43 million against tropical cyclones and earthquakes/tsunamis. This support is crucial given the exposure of the region to disasters¯extreme natural events have affected more than 9.2 million people in the Pacific since 1950 and caused damaged of about US$ 3.2 billion.

As in the previous seasons, the World Bank will act as an intermediary between PICs and a group of reinsurance companies, which were selected through a competitive bidding process¯Sompo Japan Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Swiss Re and Munich Re. AIR Worldwide provides the underlying risk modeling for the transaction.

“The continuation of the insurance pilot in the Pacific is an important step towards the creation of sustainable post-disaster financing options for small island states,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands. “Insurance payouts through this pilot offer immediate financial support to countries affected by natural disasters, something international aid often can’t provide as quickly.”

About the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot
The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot is part of the broader Pacific Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) program designed to increase the financial resilience of PICs against natural disasters by improving their capacity to meet post-disaster funding needs. Through this program advisory services are available to PICs for public financial management of natural disasters, including (i) the development of a national disaster risk financing strategy, recognizing the need for ex-ante and ex-post financial tools; (ii) post-disaster budget execution to ensure that funds can be accessed and disbursed easily in the onset of a disaster; and (iii) the insurance of key public assets to contribute to post-disaster reconstruction financing.

About the Pacific Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI)
The Pacific DRFI Program is part of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), a joint initiative of the World Bank, SPC, and the Asian Development Bank with financial support from the Government of Japan, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union. PCRAFI, launched in 2007, aims to provide the Pacific island nations with disaster risk assessment and financing tools for enhanced disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

About the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program (DRFIP)
DRFIP is a joint program of the World Bank’s Finance & Markets Global Practice (FMGP) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GDFRR). It is a leading partner of developing countries helping governments, businesses, and households manage the financial impacts of disaster and climate risks without compromising sustainable development, fiscal stability, or wellbeing.

About the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
GFDRR helps high-risk, low-income developing counties better understand and reduce their vulnerabilities to natural hazards, and adapt to climate change. Working with over 300 national, community level, and international partners GFDRR provides grant financing, on-the-ground technical assistance helping mainstream disaster mitigation policies into country level strategies, and thought leadership on disaster and climate resilience issues through a range of knowledge sharing activities. GFDRR is managed by the World Bank and funded by 21 donor partners.

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, please visit,, and


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>

Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>