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Street vendors wade a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

Haiti receives US$7.45-M payout from CCRIF for Tropical Cyclone Laura

Street vendors wade a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

CCRIF SPC on Monday, September 7, 2020, disbursed approximately US$7.2 million to the Government of Haiti on its Excess Rainfall (XSR) parametric insurance policy following three days of heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone Laura.

Locals stand on the banks of the Tet Dlo river during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

According to CCRIF SPC, the French-speaking Caricom member state also received a payout of US$290,925 under the Aggregate Deductible Cover (ADC), which is a special feature of CCRIF’s Tropical Cyclone (TC) and Earthquake (EQ) policies.

In total, insurance payouts to Haiti as a result of Laura approximated to US$7.45 million, inclusive of the ADC, and fell within the 14 days days stipulation for post-catastrophe payments.

“Most of the damage on the ground from TC Laura in Haiti was associated with rainfall. The partial assessment of the damage undertaken by the Direction de la Protection Civile and other development partners indicate that Laura and the rains associated with the system resulted in: 31 persons losing their life with another eight persons missing; approximatively 44,175 persons from 8,835 families being adversely affected,” a release from the regional insurance fund informed.

A man removes mud outside a store affected by the passage of Tropical Storm Laura, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on August 25. Torrents of water carrying rocks down from the mountains barrelled through a marketplace in a ravine of Port-au-Prince before dawn on Sunday, August 23, including the warehouses where many vendors were sleeping.
(Photo: Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares)

In addition, the weather system caused the flooding of 6,272 homes, of which 2,320 suffered some damage and 243 were destroyed; the flooding of Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport; many roads and bridges being damaged, destroyed or blocked; and the destruction of agricultural crops and death of livestock.

Help is on the way

This is Haiti’s fourth payout from CCRIF, as previously the country received payouts of US$7.8 million following the 2010 earthquake, US$20.4 million on the country’s TC policy following the passage of Category 4  Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and US$3.0 million on the country’s XSR policy for that same event.

“Some 1.5 million Haitians benefited from the payouts in 2016 as it allocated about 50 per cent of the funds to supply primarily children and the elderly with water, food and medication.”

To date, the payout of US$20.4 million to Haiti following Hurricane Matthew remains CCRIF’s single-largest payout to a member country.

According to reports from the Government, some 1.5 million Haitians benefited from the payouts in 2016 as it allocated about 50 per cent of the funds to supply primarily children and the elderly with water, food and medication. Furthermore, the Government used the disbursement funds to support families as they repaired their homes, particularly roofs and to purchase tarpaulins.

The Haitian Government used the other half of the 2016 disbursement to repair critical infrastructure.

In the meantime, CEO of CCRIF Isaac Anthony thanked the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for paying Haiti’s insurance premiums “either fully or in part since 2010 in support of that country’s overall disaster risk management strategy and resilience-building agenda”.

CEO of CCRIF Isaac Anthony (left) with Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet
(Photo: Caribbean Press Release)

Resilient partners

Equally important, the Government of Canada has also contributed to the payment of Haiti’s annual premiums, having collaborated with the CDB in 2010 and 2011 to support the country’s parametric insurance

In June 2020, Haiti, as well as 18 other Caribbean CCRIF members, benefited from a 26 per cent discount on their gross premium, which they could use in this policy year and/or the 2021/22 policy year. This discount was the end result of a US$11-million grant from the European Union (EU) for premium support for its Caribbean members under the EU Global COVID-19 Response. So far, the grant has provided much needed support to Caribbean governments whose social and economic sectors have been significantly disrupted by COVID-19.

According to Anthony, “CCRIF takes this opportunity to once again recognise the unwavering support of all our donors who over the years have played indispensable roles in supporting not only the facility, but also our members in making available CCRIF insurance products, recognising the key role of risk transfer in reducing budget volatility and in supporting the most vulnerable.”