Cyclone triggers pilot payout

The destruction wrought by Tropical Cyclone Pam has triggered the World Bank’s Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot (PCRIP) with Vanuatu receiving a US$1.9 million payout.

The PCRIP is a joint initiative of the World Bank, the Government of Japan and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, with the aim of reducing the financial vulnerability of Pacific island nations to natural disasters.

Last week, delegates from the World Bank Group conducted an initial assessment of the impact the category five storm had on Vanuatu, including an appraisal of emergency response needs and financial needs extending just beyond the payout.

Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, has expressed the World Bank’s intention to provide continued support following the disaster.

The insurance payout will support Vanuatu in financing urgent relief and recovery efforts, as we continue to work with the government to identify priorities and offer assistance through various financial mechanisms,” says Drees-Gross.

Maki Simelum, Vanuatu’s Minister for Finance, has commented on the foreseeable difficulties facing Vanuatu’s economy. “The effect of Cyclone Pam on our country has been catastrophic – destroying years of development and investments,” says Simelum.

“The need for a cohesive and coordinated approach to recovery and reconstruction is immediate and we look forward to working with the development and aid agencies to ensure this is managed.”

The damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam has effected more than half of Vanuatu’s population, approximately 166,000 people, with initial estimates stating 65,000 people were left in need of shelter.