The British Virgin Islands will have quick access to needed funds for recovery if another natural disaster devastates the territory.
This will become possible through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC); an organisation in which the BVI is working to become a member.
The CCRIF SPC is a regional catastrophe fund created for Caribbean and Central American governments, to limit the financial impacts of devastating natural disasters.
The organisation helps to mitigate cash-flow problems in disaster-affected countries, and offers coverage for hurricanes, earthquakes, cyclones, excess rainfall, among other disasters.
Ready for 2018
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith told journalists on Thursday that he anticipates the BVI will become a member country of the CCRIF SPC in time for the upcoming hurricane season that begins June 1. He said the territory will be eligible for funds from the CCRIF SPC if a disaster hits this year.
“We are at the moment having a discussion with the organisation and I’m sure it (a membership agreement) will soon be accomplished,” said Premier Smith at a media conference yesterday, April 12.
This is welcomed news for the BVI, which was determined to be ‘too rich’ to benefit from UK financial assistance after Hurricane Irma last year.
This subsequently retarded the BVI’s recovery process during the initial stages.
Since then, however, international authorities have amended its policy so countries like the BVI can receive assistance when it is affected by a ‘catastrophic humanitarian crisis’.
Meanwhile, current member countries in the CCRIF SPC include Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands.