Vanuatu Papers Late, Samoa Misses Out On Disaster Insurance

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Pilot insurance scheme delayed, Cyclone Evan damage not covered

By Lance Polu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 15, 2013) – Samoa is not getting disaster insurance cover for last Decembers Cyclone Evan due to Vanuatu’s slack and getting its insurance agreement late.

Samoa’s Minister of Finance Faumuina Tiatia Liuga told Parliament last night that Samoa was not getting the funds due to Vanuatu’s late submission of papers.

When pushed by the Leader of the Opposition Palusalue Fa’apo 11 on why Samoa should be penalized due to another country’s slackness, Faumuina said that as a Governor of the Bank, he will take up the issue with the President of the World Bank.

"After all we are talking about $20 million dollars," he responded to the Opposition queries.

Samoa along with Vanuatu and three other Pacific islanders are included in a pilot insurance scheme by the World Bank against natural disasters.

Parliament went into a night sitting last night as Government is pushing to pass the $14 million tala (US$5.9 million) Supplementary Estimates where $5 million is allotted to fund recovery work following major devastation by Cyclone Evan six weeks ago.

A report that documents the cyclone damage, places the cost at over the original figure of US$200 million. The Prime Minister says that collating the detail costs of the damage from public utilities to businesses, individual properties and the environment is to prove to the major economic powers the cost of the impact of the natural disasters to the small islands because of the damage they have caused to the environment.

Samoa is hosting a major international conference on climate change next year in which Samoa plans to voice all it can to move the major economic powers to act on limiting the causes to climate change and any response assistance for small islands for the problems the natural disasters and damage they are already facing.

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