31 March 2015 Insurance

Vanuatu receives $1.9m payout for Cyclone Pam

Vanuatu has received a $1.9 million payout from the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot, following Cyclone Pam which struck the nation on March 13 and 14, 2015.

The pilot is a joint initiative between the World Bank Group, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and their partners, with grant funding from the Government of Japan.

This is the second such payment under the pilot, which launched in January 2013. Tonga was the first country to benefit from a payout in January 2014 after Cyclone Ian.

“We are deeply concerned for the people of Vanuatu in the face of devastation caused by Cyclone Pam,” said Franz Drees-Gross, country director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. “The insurance payout will support Vanuatu in financing urgent relief and recovery efforts, as we continue to work with the government to identify priorities and offer assistance through various financial mechanisms.”

A delegation from the World Bank Group visited Vanuatu last week to conduct an initial scoping mission to assess the impact of the cyclone and the government’s emergency response needs, including immediate financial needs beyond the insurance payout.

In addition, to help restore Vanuatu’s tourism sector, a World Bank technical team will arrive in Port Vila on March 31, to negotiate an IDA credit of up to $59.5 million for the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project. IDA, or the International Development Association, is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest.

Maki Simelum, Vanuatu’s Minister for Finance, added: “The effect of Cyclone Pam on our country has been catastrophic – destroying years of development and investments. The need for a cohesive and coordinated approach to recovery and reconstruction is immediate and we look forward to working with the development and aid agencies to ensure this is managed.”

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