World Bank fully supportive of direct sovereign risk transfer: Bennett

ARTEMIS: The efforts of the World Bank around disaster risk financing for its members continues to be a real benefit, and while the organisation can and will do more, this isn’t about being the dominant force in the market, according to Michael Bennett, Head of Derivatives & Structured Finance, World Bank Treasury.

During last month’s annual ILS conference in New York City, held virtually for the first time owing to restrictions, Artemis spoke with Bennett about the World Bank’s use of reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) structures for member governments, and how this might evolve in the future.

So far, the World Bank has transferred some $4.5 billion of risk to the markets, of which the large majority (65%) has been via ILS structures; showing how beneficial capital markets-backed protection has been for both the organisation and its members.

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Pacific Alliance hopes to expand cat bond to cover cyclones, floods, droughts

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The Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, would like to expand on the coverage provided by their catastrophe bonds, with hydro-meteorological risks including tropical cyclones, drought, floods and even cold weather all mooted as potential perils to include.

The Ministries of Finance of the Pacific Alliance members met in late 2020 to discuss next steps in their disaster risk financing and catastrophe bond journey.

The Pacific Alliance trade bloc nations in Latin America currently benefit from a combined $1.36 billion of catastrophe bond backed earthquake insurance protection, in a landmark multi-country cat bond issuance brought to market in early 2018.

World Bank has ‘only scratched the surface’ on what it can do: Bennett, ILS NYC 2021

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The World Bank has “only scratched the surface” on what it can do with member governments that are looking to transfer some of their disaster risk to the reinsurance sector and the capital markets, according to Michael Bennett, Head of Derivatives & Structured Finance, World Bank Treasury.

The World Bank is an international organisation with 189 member governments. Through the use of both traditional reinsurance and the issuance of catastrophe bonds, a sub-sector of the insurance-linked securities (ILS) space, it helps its members transfer disaster risk to the markets.

The focus of the Treasury Department of the World Bank is often the tail-end of a broader engagement with a given member designed to assess and quantify their disaster risk.

World Bank supports Central Asia Multi-Peril Risk Assessment

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Central Asian countries will benefit from a better understanding of their natural disaster risks, which in time could lead to greater use of risk transfer, insurance and reinsurance capacity in the region, as the World Bank supports a multi-peril risk assessment project for the region.

One of the first steps in moving towards sovereign disaster risk transfer, such as use of insurance, reinsurance or catastrophe bond type arrangements, tends to be in the development of risk modelling tools to enhance the understanding of exposures in a country.

To that end, the World Bank, alongside its partners, has launched an initiative to provide a multi-peril risk assessment of natural disaster risks, including earthquakes, floods and selected landslides within the Central Asia region.

Indonesia cat bond possible, as World Bank lends for disaster insurance

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The World Bank has approved $500 million of funding for Indonesia to help the country enhance its financial response to natural disasters, climate risks, and health-related shocks, with the use of risk pooling, and insurance or reinsurance instruments at the heart of the plan.

Between 2014 and 2018, the central government of Indonesia has spent between US$90 million and US$500 million annually on disaster response and recovery, the World Bank explained, while Indonesia’s local governments spent an estimated additional $250 million over the same period.

With the cost of natural disasters and severe weather events expected to keep increasing further due to climate change and also urban growth, the World Bank notes that these costs will pressure Indonesia’s government public spending.

Tre Hapa për të Ndihmuar Shqipërinë për të Përballuar Ndikimet Financiare të Shkaktuara nga Fatkeqësitë dhe Krizat

PUBLIKIMI I PLOT ORIGJINAL KTU

Në vitin 2019, Shqipëria u përball me një seri tërmetesh, ndër të cilët edhe një me magnitudë të lartë; më pas, mes përpjekjeve për rindërtim në vitin 2020, u godit edhe nga pandemia COVID-19. E përballur me nevojat e shumta në rritje, mbështetja e qeverisë shqiptare shkoi për të varfërit dhe personat e prekur nga fatkeqësitë dhe krizat, përfshirë këtu edhe bizneset. Për ta realizuar këtë, ajo shfrytëzoi rezervat fiskale, rishpërndau buxhetet për përparësitë urgjente dhe u mbështet tek ndihma e jashtme. Shumë nga këto masa u ndërmorën në bazë të nevojës.

Në shtator 2020, Banka Botërore së bashku me Ministrinë e Financave dhe Ekonomisë,  kreu vlerësimin diagnostikues në lidhje me financimin e riskut të fatkeqësive në Shqipëri.[1] Kjo përpjekje kishte për qëllim identifikimin e mangësive të financimit të mekanizmave për gatishmërinë financiare të vendit në rast fatkeqësish dhe rekomandimin e mënyrave për përmirësimin e tyre.

Menaxhimi i riskut të fatkeqësive është ndër përparësitë kryesore të politikave në Republikën e Shqipërisë dhe, pak kohë para tërmetit, qeveria shqiptare kreu edhe një seri reformash në këtë drejtim, si për shembull: miratimi i Ligjit të ri për Mbrojtjen Civile, racionalizimi i kornizave institucionale, decentralizimi i funksioneve që aktivizohen pas fatkeqësive dhe vënia në dispozicion e strukturave të nevojshme për fondet e emergjencës në nivel vendor dhe në nivel ministrie të linjës.

Three Steps to Help Albania Withstand the Financial Impacts of Disasters and Crises

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In 2019, Albania experienced a series of earthquakes, including a major one; then, amid reconstruction efforts in 2020, it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confronting multiple increasing needs, the government of Albania supported the poor and those affected by disasters and crises, including businesses. To do so, it tapped into its fiscal reserves, reallocated budgets toward urgent priorities, and relied on external assistance. Many of these measures were ad hoc.

In September 2020, jointly with Albania’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, the World Bank completed a diagnostic of disaster risk finance in Albania[1]. This effort sought to identify financing gaps in—and recommend ways to improve—the country’s financial preparedness for disasters.

Disaster risk management is among Albania’s key policy priorities, and the Albanian government carried out a series of reforms shortly before the earthquake: for instance, it enacted a new Law on Civil Protection, streamlined institutional frameworks, decentralized post-disaster functions, and put in place structures for contingency funds at the local and line ministry level.

Can insurance-linked securities mobilize investment in climate adaptation?

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The cost of adapting to climate change increases every year. Between now and 2030, adaptation in developing countries is projected to cost US$180 billion annually and skyrockets to US$280-500 billion as we get closer to 2050. The past five years are among the warmest ever recorded and the economic impacts from tropical storms, droughts and wildfires are reaching record levels around the world. Despite the need to improve our resilience, investments in early warning systems, climate resilient infrastructure, improved agriculture, natural capital such as mangroves and coral reefs, and water resource management, have remained stagnant. Adaptation finance still represents a fraction of overall climate finance and less than 20 percent of what is needed, even if absolute numbers are slowly rising US$22 to US$35 billion from 2016 to 2018).

But closing the gap between current adaptation financing levels and the need is a challenge. Public sector budgets are maxed out and attracting desperately needed private investment remains notoriously elusive. The challenge to mobilizing private investment into adaptation and resilience projects has always been–how do we get our money back? While we’ve been debating adaptation’s return on investment, the damages from intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts as a result of the climate crisis have cost hundreds of billions of dollars and displaced millions of people.

Governments and institutions bet big on CAT bonds

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There is something magical about the word bonds as it is closely linked with all facets of our life. But in the world of business, bonds are financial instruments that are used by governments and institutions to tide over funding difficulties in times of stress. And at no other time has it been more pronounced than at this juncture when businesses all over the world are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My interest in the topic was aroused when my old friend T.B.Nair, an independent analyst in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, told me about how catastrophe bonds are gaining ground in the global marketplace. Nair told me that catastrophe bonds or CAT bonds are now becoming the instrument of choice for several countries to insure big transnational infrastructure projects from natural disasters. He even went on to suggest that CAT bonds would have been of great help for India to overcome the economic hardships arising from cyclones, floods etc.