#Jamaica, September 29, 2017 – Kingston – The Government is to provide additional funds for disaster mitigation in the 2017/18 Supplementary Budget, which Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says is slated to be tabled in the House of Representatives shortly. This, he says, is necessary, as the initial $491 million allocated in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure has been exhausted, consequent on adverse weather conditions that affected the island earlier this year causing extensive flooding across several communities.
The Minister was responding to questions from Central Kingston Member of Parliament, Rev. Ronald Thwaites, regarding the extent of resources for Jamaica’s disaster mitigation, during Tuesday’s (September 26) sitting of the House. Mr. Shaw informed that the initial provision was inadequate, based on the fact that the damage and dislocation resulting from the extensive flood rains lashing the island “have wiped that money out”.
“Consequently, we have to appropriate some (more) funds to help deal with some of the outstanding issues resulting from those events,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw emphasized the need for the Government to revisit the provisions under the World Bank-run Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), to see how these can be further enhanced to Jamaica’s benefit. The facility affords insurance coverage safeguards against tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall.
Mr. Shaw, who told the House that the Government took initial steps to ensure that Jamaica’s benefits were enhanced, said it is an opportune time to revisit the provisions, in light of several Caribbean countries being severely impacted by the unprecedented development of two Category 5 hurricanes in rapid succession recently.
“Having regard to the experiences of the recent hurricanes, and obviously the possibility that there could be earthquakes, there is need for us to take another look at that policy to see how it can be (further) enhanced in terms of its benefits for Jamaica,” the Minister said.