Eighteen students from the University of the South Pacific USP) have successfully passed their assessments from the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) internship webinar programme.
Held in August, students from across the region not only grasped essential development purposes of PCRIC and other international sovereign disaster risk finance (DRF) programMEs but they also deftly conveyed their personal ideas about strengthening the Pacific region through their written exams.
The first DRF Webinar for the university students was presented via Zoom. It offered an introduction to PCRIC and its DRF insurance programs to support public planning and financial needs of Pacific Islands.
Certificates of Completion for the two-day Disaster Risk Management and Finance training for the Pacific Region, were awarded at a virtual certificate presentation in mid-September.
PCRIC’s Chairwoman, Sarah-Jane Wild, expressed her well-wishes saying, “I heartily congratulate all the students who have successfully completed the first stage of the internship. COVID-19 has created a very unusual time and highlights even more how important disaster risk management and planning is for countries across the region.”
A key element of PCRIC’s mission in the region is to improve knowledge and access to disaster risk management and financing tools for Pacific Island countries. This enables sovereign nations to better deal with natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. Through the Internship Programme, PCRIC has extended its reach to also include future leaders and to support learning and knowledge-exchange opportunities.
Marissa Asen, a participant of the internship and a Diplomacy & International Affairs student, shared, “I found the webinar thought-provoking and I really learned a lot about disaster risk finance. I’m excited to progress onto the next step of this programme and I hope to contribute whatever I can to help the Pacific to better prepare for natural disasters.”
Another participant, Muhammad Uzair, a Finance & Accounting student explained that, “The Pacific is my home and I know how bad a cyclone can really affect our island nations. That’s why I joined this internship programme. I want to be a part of the team in how we can be more resilient in the face of Mother Nature.”
PCRIC’s CEO, ‘Aholotu Palu, commended the students saying, “We want more young people to become interested and involved with PCRIC learning and capacity-building programs. They will help the region develop solutions for its economic and social development priorities for the future.”
The students will now write a paper for their research project (around 10 pages in length) relating to particular elements of disaster risk management and finance. All interns who complete this paper by the set deadline will have their papers reviewed and evaluated by the PCRIC CEO, a Legal Advisor and a Board member.
Students who author the top 12 papers will receive a cash prize and will be formally entered into Phase II of the internship programme, working in cross-disciplinary teams of three students to propose a DRM solution for the region to bring their individual academic areas of focus to bear in a collaborative manner.