The Government has secured future climate risk insurance pay-outs for those most affected by natural disasters. GOB signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide a top-up of US$100,000 per year to be allocated for cash assistance. This assistance is to be delivered through national social protection programmes to people who are vulnerable to the negative impacts of storms and hurricanes. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Christopher Coye, signed this agreement and he says these pay-outs will make sure that food insurance is a priority for those affected.
Christopher Coye, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment: “Belize certainly suffers in an extraordinary amount of losses on a recurring basis from natural disasters so it’s all the more important for us to address by way of all these contingency events that can occur not only a contingency fund that we have recently established on our own but also to ramp up the scope of coverage and the extent of coverage by way of this type of insurance policy with the premium supported by the World Food Program so thanks again for coming here and for playing a part in getting Belize ready for disaster events.”
Belize is highly vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards and the effects of climate change and ranks eighth out of 167 countries for climate risk. According to the WFP Caribbean Head, Regis Chapman, these effects are common in coastal areas like Belize City, which is why it is important to have these types of contingency plans.
Regis Chapman, Caribbean Head, World Food Program: “I think it’s testament to the Government of Belize’s priorities being placed on disaster risk management and recognizing the need of alternative ways perhaps to ensure that when disasters do strike that the government is ready and able to respond and we view this support to your CRIFT policy as an add on to that level of coverage and engagement that you have with people that are impacted by shocks. We’ve had a recent rainfall in Belize, rain event in Belize with some flooding in the north and I think it highlights some of the vulnerabilities that we have here in the Caribbean and in Belize to shocks be it hurricanes or excessive rainfall.”
This initiative was also possible through financial support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).