With the travel restrictions imposed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic being progressively withdrawn, the opportunity to trade Zoom calls for in-person meetings was taken by PCRIC’s Finance and Investment consultants, who were in Fiji last week from Auckland for a series of meetings with PCRIC CEO Mr. Aholotu Palu in Suva.
Mr. David Elliot N, Insurance Manager and Mr. Michael Chamberlain, Investment Consultant, discussed a range of issues key to PCRIC’s ongoing performance and capacity to contribute positively to future disaster risk management (DRM) needs of regional governments.
On the financial front, the broad focus was to crystalise the key DRM priorities for the next budget commencing in July this year. There were in-depth discussions on key cost and revenue drivers of PCRIC; PCRIC’s investment portfolio and strategies; and, the medium-term outlook in light of the current global environment.
The next step will involve seeking The World Bank approval on the proposed expenditure to be funded through grant proceeds. A virtual meeting has been planned with the World Bank team this week for these discussions.
The finance meeting was aimed to ensure PCRIC’s budget remains well-planned, flexible, realistic and clearly communicates its projections that are aligned to its goals ensuring that it stays balanced, financially stable and with a strong financial footing. The dialogue on central priorities and outline of the fiscal year 2022 / 2023 budget was geared towards these goals.
It is imperative for PCRIC to earnestly explore opportunities to widen its client base and on the same note, to expand the suite of insurance products primarily based on demand. This is critical for long-term financial sustainability of the company. Stakeholder engagement and outreach is foundational to achieving this.
Ultimately, the intended end result of this finance meeting is that the PCRIC management team embed DRM priorities in the budget projections in order to enhance business development to ensure it meets the disaster risk finance needs of the Pacific Island forum countries, and their resilience building efforts through climate and disaster adaptation pursuits.