The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) have launched an 'Integrated Sovereign Risk Management in the Caribbean' project, in a bid to more proactively manage hurricane and other risks facing the region.
The project seeks to enable all Caribbean countries to take a more proactive approach towards country risk management, moving beyond planning for natural disaster risks such as climate change and events like hurricanes and earthquakes.
It also seeks to recognise the linkages between disasters and other types of risk, such as economic, technological and financial risks, and the impacts of these on socioeconomic development.
At the ceremony, held on the margins of the 2017 CDB Board of Governors Meeting, the bank's president, Dr William Warren Smith, said: "This will help Caribbean governments address their increased vulnerabilities caused by socioeconomic factors, as well as the technological and economic interconnectedness of communities across regions and throughout the world."
Dr Smith said the CDB had strengthened its risk management infrastructure over the past few years by adopting an integrated enterprise risk management framework.
The Bank will use this to support a holistic approach to risk management in the Caribbean, as it aims to help maintain sovereign credit ratings; share risk intelligence and mitigation strategies across the region; and encourage the adoption of a forward-looking risk approach to country management in a way that will improve economic performance.
Isaac Anthony, CCRIF's chief executive, said the project "is intended to enable the countries in the region to become more resilient, by enhancing the capacity of governments to take a portfolio view on risks and include all risk categories - technical, economic, natural and social risks - and their interdependence in a geographic context".
He added that part of this new integrated risk management framework would be to establish country risk officers or co-ordinators within countries. These are senior level positions that will be responsible for managing the overall risk landscape, and ensuring that countries adopt a more proactive, precautionary approach to anticipating future challenges.
CDB's chief risk officer, Malcolm Buamah, said: "CDB's success in enterprise risk management, complemented by CCRIF's success in disaster risk management, can be leveraged and transferred to the country platform to deliver significant economic and developmental benefits across the Caribbean."