Jamaica to Host International Disaster-Risk Conference

Jamaica will host the seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean in 2020.

The July 8-10 event will be held under the theme, “Building Resilient Economies in the Americas and the Caribbean.”

Meanwhile, Kingston says it is putting strategies in place to better plan for and finance damage and losses resulting from natural disasters, and that among the measures is implementation of the public financial management policy for natural disaster risks, which will provide the country with funds in the event of a disaster, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Among other things, it will include accumulating fiscal savings in the Contingencies Fund and making contingent credit available in the event of a disaster and implementing financing strategies such as catastrophe bonds or catastrophe-linked insurance.

“The idea is to have available to Jamaica up to $1 billion of non-budgetary emergency funding that can be available in the worst possible event — and that is the strategic intent, the strategic direction,” said Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service.

Clarke, who was speaking at the recent launch of the website for the Seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, said that Jamaica’s pursuit of economic independence requires an institutional response to the financial risk of natural disasters

He said this year, the government transferred $2 billion (One Jamaica dollar = U.S. 0.008 cents) into the Contingencies Fund towards natural disaster risk coverage, in keeping with a resolution moved in Parliament in March to raise the ceiling of the fund from $100 million to $10 billion.

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