Kingston, Jamaica, 7 June, 2011 – The University of the West Indies marked the inauguration of the UWI-CCRIF Scholarship Programme in a handover ceremony held at the Mona campus on 26 May, 2011. In the first year of the programme, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has provided scholarships worth US$49,000 to six students at the University who are pursuing study in areas related to disaster management.
In his opening remarks, University Registrar, Mr William Iton, expressed the University’s appreciation to CCRIF for the assistance to build the region’s capacity for effective disaster management. He indicated that the increased collaboration between UWI and CCRIF would result in the further development of forward-looking solutions geared towards reducing the risks created by the pronounced regional natural hazard landscape.
Dr Simon Young, CEO of Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd – CCRIF’s Facility Supervisor, reiterated CCRIF’s interest in strengthening its partnership with UWI. He indicated that “CCRIF hopes to be able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UWI to work in other areas that support disaster risk reduction – for example, by providing CCRIF’s catastrophe modelling tools to the University as a means of building technical capacity in the Caribbean region in the areas of catastrophe modelling and risk management.”
Also attending this ceremony were Professor Alvin Wint, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Undergraduate Studies and Professor Ronald Young, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Post-Graduate Studies who both stressed the importance of enhancing regional capacity in disaster management as the region continues to pursue the path to sustainability.
The students who received CCRIF scholarships for the 2010/2011 year include three graduate students who are pursuing a Masters Degree in the Disaster Management programme at the Mona Campus (Jamaica) – Ms Gerarda Ramcharansingh, Mr Kevin Douglas, and Mr Dorlan Burrell – and three undergraduate students – Ms Odene Baker, in the Department of Geography & Geology (Mona Campus); and Ms Wanda Monrose and Mr Rhon-Paul Soltau in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (St Augustine Campus, Trinidad).
The UWI-CCRIF Scholarship Programme is part of CCRIF’s Technical Assistance Programme which is designed to help Caribbean countries deepen their understanding of natural hazards and catastrophe risk, and the potential impacts of climate change on the region, thereby leading to increased regional climate change resilience through improved risk management.
About CCRIF: CCRIF is a risk pooling facility, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean for Caribbean governments. It is designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to Caribbean governments by quickly providing short term liquidity when a policy is triggered. It is the world’s first and, to date, only regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving Caribbean governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake and hurricane catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF represents a paradigm shift in the way governments treat risk, with Caribbean governments leading the way in pre-disaster planning. CCRIF was developed through funding from the Japanese Government, and was capitalised through contributions to a multi-donor Trust Fund by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments.
Sixteen governments are currently members of CCRIF: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
For more information, contact CCRIF at email@example.com or visit the CCRIF website at www.ccrif.org.