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Government of Jamaica


Remarks by Dr Wayne Henry, Director General at the High Level Political Forum Virtual Side Event – Financing for Development: Catastrophe Bonds

Remarks by Dr Wayne Henry
Director General
Planning Institute of Jamaica
Side Event on Financing for Development: Catastrophe Bonds
July 13, 2022


Welcome to Jamaica’s side event on financing for development.

Small Island Developing States such as Jamaica face increased vulnerabilities to shocks (climate, health, economic) which, when experienced, severely curtail Governments’ fiscal flexibility. This is evidenced by the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been significant and are still being transmitted.

In this current climate, Governments have been tasked with the responsibility of increasing COVID-related expenditures, including on health, social and economic support programmes, while revenues remain muted due to sluggish economic activity. All while being cognizant of the ever present threat of climate related events which, if they materialize, have the potential to erode hard won macroeconomic gains.

Rather than waiting on the occurrence of a climate-related shock to materialize to devise a response, the Government of Jamaica has proactively partnered with key stakeholders to develop an innovative financing instrument, in the form of the Catastrophe Bond, to facilitate a quick and comprehensive response to specific climate-related shocks, to safeguard and maintain the fiscal health and resilience of the economy.

Today’s side event will showcase Catastrophe Bonds as a key disaster risk financing instrument and the important role of strong multilateral and bilateral partnerships in developing the same. We are pleased by the strong support the event has received today and look forward to the rich discussion that will ensue.