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Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot Launched

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Pilot program to help governments respond to natural disasters

The Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu are all part of a pilot catastrophe risk insurance programme launched on January 17, 2013 to provide their governments with immediate funding if a major (natural) disaster occurs.

Japan, the World Bank and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have teamed up with the 5 Pacific Island Countries to launch the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot. It will test whether a risk transfer arrangement modelled on an insurance plan can help Pacific island nations deal with the immediate financial effects of disasters.

The pilot relies on state-of-the-art financial risk modelling techniques and is the first ever Pacific scheme to use parametric triggers, linking immediate post-disaster insurance payouts to specific hazard events.  This joint effort will allow Pacific island nations to access earthquake and tropical cyclone catastrophe coverage from reinsurance companies at an attractive price.
The World Bank will act as an intermediary between the pilot countries and a group of insurance companies selected through a competitive bidding process – Sompo Japan Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance and Swiss Re. The underlying risk modelling for the transaction is being provided by AIR Worldwide.

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot 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 was launched in 2007 and aims to provide Pacific Island Countries with disaster risk assessment and financing tools to enhance their broader disaster risk management and climate change adaptation agenda.

FURTHER INFORMATION:
http://pcrafi.sopac.org

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 11:31  

Newsflash

Pacific Island Countries are generally surrounded by large areas of ocean over which clouds easily build up within the lower atmosphere with increasing altitude. The micro-climate of the moisture-laden lower atmosphere is very inhomogeneous and can distort images captured by optical satellites. An atmospheric correction is therefore important in order to enhance image data. Beginning in 2011, atmospheric correction software has started to incorporate the digital elevation model to reduce relief related atmospheric disturbances.

The Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of SPC is the hub of satellite image data purchase within the region, and the Division also enhances the image data for Pacific users including the application of an atmospheric correction. SOPAC therefore maintains a working relationship with global software developers adjusting software specifically for Pacific conditions.