A statement from the Office of the Finance Minister Nigel Clarke says “the government has taken a proactive approach by laying the groundwork for the drafting of a policy that will see Jamaica being more independent and responsive when disasters strike,” Minister Clarke said as he made his presentation.
“The practice of shifting budgeted resources from planned activities is imprudent and we have taken another step in the right direction with this policy initiative”, a strident Dr. Clarke said. The Policy is expected to create greater transparency and efficiencies in the mobilisation and execution of public expenditure in disaster risk management.
Critical components of which include developing fiscal resilience to natural disasters through designation of the Contingency Fund as the National Catastrophic Disaster Reserve Fund and build-up of a strong fiscal buffer; improve insurance of public assets and incorporate disaster risk analysis in public sector investments and planning from a physical planning perspective.
The approval of the development of a Policy on National Disaster Risk Financing is an antecedent to a joint hosting of a public forum with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and the World Bank on ‘Facing the Fiscal Risks of Natural Disasters,’ which aims to contribute to a national conversation on strengthening resilience and advancing disaster risk financing managing risks in the context of the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters and the rising impact of climate change.
Jamaica, like other Caribbean island states, is highly exposed to extreme weather events and climate risks. The impact on the lives of citizens can be severe, and it is often the most vulnerable that are affected from these shocks which are frequently followed by income and productivity losses.
The approval of the development of a Policy on National Disaster Risk Financing is in alignment with the VISION 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan, the medium-Term Socio-economic Policy Framework (MTF) and the fiscal management strategy of the Government of Jamaica.
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