Tonga Renews Participation In Disaster Insurance Program

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Country received $1.27 million for Cyclone Ian recovery

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 4, 2014) – Tonga has continued its membership of the ‘Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot’ program. The insurance program has been credited for its financial insurance to Tonga in the wake of Cyclone Ian earlier this year.

The pilot program was launched in January last year 2013 with the aim of reducing the financial vulnerabilities of small island states through a regional insurance program. The sovereign insurance program was established by the World Bank, Government of Japan and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. There are currently five members of the Pacific Catastrophe Insurance Pilot program: Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu.

World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands, Franz Drees-Gross stated "The continuation of the insurance pilot in the Pacific is an important step towards the creation of sustainable post-disaster financing options for small island states,"

"Insurance payouts through this pilot offer immediate financial support to countries affected by natural disasters, something international aid often can’t provide as quickly."

The program proved useful for Tonga early this year, Tonga received a pay-out of $1.27 million (USD) on January 23, 2014, two weeks after Cyclone Ian.

Tonga’s Minister of Finance, ‘Aisea Eke stated "The cash received from the risk insurance pilot made an important financial contribution for carrying out the governments’ strategy for mitigating natural disasters".

"Thanks to this initiative, Tonga is now on its way to recovery without interruption, ensuring people can return to their everyday lives quickly".

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