Guyana among countries to benefit as UK pumps US$25M into insurance scheme in C’bean

Overhead shots of Guyana

The United Kingdom today announced a US$25 million investment to establish an affordable insurance scheme that will protect essential water and sanitation services in Caribbean countries at risk of natural disasters.

The Caribbean Water Utility Insurance Collective (CWUIC), which will be part of CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), has been launched with the UK’s support.

It will provide rapid payouts to repair services damaged by disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

All Caribbean water and sanitation utility organisations are encouraged to join and it is assured that they will benefit from insurance at substantially low rates.

“UK grants will also enable utilities in Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guyana and Suriname to buy the insurance they need,” a statement from the British High Commission in Guyana outlined.

It was noted that this investment is part of the UK’s wider commitment to supporting the Caribbean in disaster resilience. The flagship £350 million UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund is also supporting the development of critical infrastructure including bridges, renewable energy, ports, water, and sea defences.

UK Minister for the Americas and Caribbean David Rutley has expressed that, “the people of the Caribbean are on the frontline of natural disasters, which are increasing in frequency due to climate change. This first-of-its-kind scheme will enable Caribbean countries to maintain essential services in the face of storms and floods, while greatly reducing the financial burden on individual governments. The UK is determined to play its part in helping small island developing states build resilience to extreme weather events with access to fairer and reliable funding.”

This investment into CWUIC is part of the UK’s contribution to the G7/V20 Global Shield Against Climate Risk that was launched at COP27.

CWUIC will be co-funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Coca Cola Foundation.

It is hoped the scheme will soon expand to provide insurance cover for droughts and other hazards.