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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.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 11:31  


Friday 11 July 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters, Noumea, New Caledonia – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing team has received two awards from the world’s leading supplier of satellite imagery, DigitalGlobe Inc., based in Colorado, USA.

They received a Partner Excellence Award 2014 for increased sales volume and meeting business growth expectations. SPC is the only authorised reseller of DigitalGlobe products in the Pacific Island region.

SPC members currently receive the highest-resolution satellite image data commercially available at some of the lowest prices on the planet.

Speaking at the awards ceremony held at SPC’s Suva Regional Office on Thursday 10 July, 2014 Wolf Forstreuter, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, explained emerging fields in the application of satellite imagery data.

‘Emily Artack, our Maritime Boundaries Technical Officer, used satellite image data for determination of maritime boundaries between Kiribati and Marshall Islands. This is a new application for satellite image data. And it is the first time that the International Seabed Authority has recognised satellite imagery as a legal tool to determine boundaries.’