Adapted from a paper presented by Mr. Isaac Anthony, CEO, CCRIF SPC at the Government of Barbados/IDB – Insurance Colloquium Insurance in the Age of Climate Change held in Barbados November 5, 2019 T oday, more than ever before, a critical look at insurance within the context of disaster risk financing is timely, poignant, relevant and necessary given the realities we are faced with – Climate Change and the impacts of natural disasters on our people, infrastructure, ecosystems and economic growth prospects. The impact of Climate Change is a global phenomenon that disproportionately affects the lives and livelihoods of persons in developing countries, especially small island and coastal states, and it will require a mix of partnerships, resources and commitment to address the issues at the regional, country, community and individual levels. As leaders, our focus must be on people and ensuring that we strategically engage in actions that put people at the centre of development so that ‘no one is left behind’. Let me begin by painting a picture: “The island is devastated, beyond imagination, every major building has been destroyed or has suffered structural damage; many lives have been lost and the death toll is expected to rise; a 32-year-old pregnant woman died when a 12-metre palm tree fell into her home; likewise a 32-year-old man died after battering waves engulfed a kiosk on the coast; agricultural crops have been destroyed, as well as fishing boats and infrastructure…”. This picture is associated with Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and primarily the impacts on the island of Grenada. But the truth is, it could easily be Dominica in 2017, the British Virgin Islands in 2017 and more recently the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama in 2019. Whilst the physical, social and psychological impacts of disasters today are not dissimilar to Grenada in 2004, there are some key policy changes that the region has made to reduce the impacts of disasters, and vulnerability of our countries. Many of these changes are considered global best practice, for example, the approach to comprehensive disaster risk management as promoted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and disaster risk financing instruments that have been made available by CCRIF, the World Bank and the IDB for dealing with the aftermath of disasters. Property destruction in The Bahamas after the passage of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. (Photograph provided by Father DeAngelo Bowe, Rector of the Holy Spirit Anglican Church in The Bahamas) Continues on next page 16

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