The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) team recently participated in a day-long forum in Tonga at the invitation of the government. The forum, which had the theme “Partnership for Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Development,” was convened to deliberate on disaster risk management and preparedness, as well as Tonga’s economy, government finances, and proposed reforms.
It was attended by senior government officials, disaster management experts, esteemed donor partners, private sector and civil society representatives wherein it functioned as a pivotal platform to secure the ongoing commitment of donors towards supporting the recovery and budgetary needs of Tonga.
During their allotted presentation, the PCRIC team emphasized the significance of insurance in managing disaster risk and shared insights on how the company has been working to provide affordable insurance solutions to Pacific Island countries. In particular, the PCRIC team highlighted its two new parametric insurance products, excess rainfall and drought, that will soon be available. Additionally, the team shared details on its potential collaborations with organizations such as the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF. The company also highlighted its foray into offering insurance policies to non-sovereign entities like private sectors and state-owned enterprises. As a result of this, there are ongoing discussions with PNG DATACO LIMITED to develop innovative parametric earthquake insurance coverage for their multiple submarine cable systems.
PCRIC’s participation in the event helped to raise awareness of the importance of insurance in disaster risk financing and mitigation, thereby promoting a coordinated approach to disaster risk management in the Pacific region. By collaborating with like-minded partners, PCRIC can help build resilience against natural disasters and ensure the long-term sustainability of Pacific Island communities.
The PCRIC team also shared the anticipated release of the €10 million in premium financing from Germany via the World Bank which will bolster its efforts to provide affordable insurance solutions to the region. A key message shared by the team was that there are strong indications that €4.5 million of funding will be packaged with the country’s IDA (International Development Association) envelope and the remaining €4.5 million will be channelled through the Global Shield administered trust fund. €1 million has been set aside by the World Bank for technical assistance support which it will coordinate. Hence, it is vital for countries such as Tonga to commence discussions with the World Bank country office to navigate how best these premium support funds can be accessed. PCRIC stands ready to support in any way possible.
In addition, a bilateral meeting was convened with Hon. Tiofilusi Tiueti, Tonga’s Minister for Finance, to facilitate comprehensive discussions on the premium support fund that has recently become available, which aims to benefit PCRIC insurance policyholders.
Furthermore, during the induction program for new parliamentary members of the house, the team had the opportunity to meet with Lord Fakafanua, the Lord Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. The team was invited as a guest facilitator to share PCRIC’s services offered to the region and expounded on their role in promoting the prioritization of disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction.
Commending the team, the Chief Clerk of the Legislative Assembly conveyed an expression of gratitude on behalf of the esteemed Lord Speaker through a letter of appreciation. Furthermore, the Chief Clerk extended encouragement to PCRIC to contemplate future invitations of comparable nature, in order to facilitate and enhance collaboration.