Belize: Disaster Risk Financing Technical Assistance

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Report on Risk Finance in Belize. Photo credit: World Bank

Context and Objectives
The project suported the Ministry of Finance of Belize to:

  • Better understand and manage potential fiscal impacts derived from disasters;
  • Build institutional capacity
  • Identify cost-effective financial protection options against disasters, based on a concrete understanding of the fiscal exposure to disasters and of the disaster risk financing tools currently in use in, or available to, Belize.

Main Activities

  • Understanding and quantifying fiscal risk from disasters
  • Analysing and reviewing existing domestic market conditions for the provision of catastrophe risk insurance
  • Building a cost-effective sovereign disaster risk financing and insurance (DRFI) strategy, based on analytical information processed and discussed with the Ministry of Finance.
  • Integrating disaster risk into a comprehensive risk management strategy
  • South-south exchange: Collaborating and sharing lessons learnt under the ACP-EU NDRR Program with other Small Island Developing States

Results
The following results were achieved:

  • The key document of the Country Disaster Risk Profile was delivered. Based on baseline data on historical losses and disaster-related government expenditure, disaster risk profiles for earthquakes and windstorms, and a fiscal risk profile, the document helped the Government of Belize to quantify the current assets value of Belize’s building stock as well as the value of potential future disaster losses.
  • A report with options for a disaster risk finance strategy was delivered, accompanied by a short video on these recommendations. The report was preceded by another report on the domestic insurance market, and by discussions with local insurance companies. The recommendations for the strategy were discussed with the Government, and the counterparts recognized the importance of mainstreaming disaster risk finance into budget, fiscal policy and debt management considerations.
  • In October 2017, a day with in-depth training for technical experts, as well as with strategic discussions on disaster risk finance strategy implementation for policy makers, was organized with regional stakeholders. 

Partnerships and Coordination
The project team collaborated with the EU delegation upon each mission to Belize, and has kept EU abreast of in-country activities.

The team had discussions with representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Department for International Development (DfID), UK Government.; Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC). CDEMA and CARTAC participated also in the regional workshop organized under activity 5.

The activities of the project leveraged support from completed and ongoing projects in Belize. Many of such activities relate to the reduction in physical vulnerability and capacity building, but do not involve DRFI components. Some of these include:

  • The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) George Price High Rehabilitation Project (US$28 million) and related studies (US$0.5 million);
  • The IDB’s Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program for Belize City (US$ 10 million); and
  • The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB’s) Road Safety Program (US$ 7 million).

Useful Links

The report "Advancing Disater Risk Finance in Belize" can be found here.

Country
Region
  • Caribbean
Priority area
  • Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR)
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $273,000
Co-financing
  • $0
Duration
  • 05/2015 to 06/2018