Statement by Mrs. Rocio Aguilar, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Costa Rica

Statement by Mrs. Rocio Aguilar, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Costa Rica. Sunday, October 20, 2019. Washington, D.C.


Thank you Honorable Minister Brenson.

Good Afternoon Honorable Ministers, my fellow V20 members and members of the Program Alliance. I would like to extend my appreciation for giving vulnerable countries an opportunity to give perspectives and viewpoints today.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership is a testament to the potential of cooperation. Together, we aim to greatly improve financial protection against climate shocks for those most vulnerable. On this note, I would like to make three points:

Number 1: The V20 has a strong stake in the success of InsuResilience. We not only co-chair the initiative, but of course, we are those most exposed to losses in times of disaster. With this, I recommend that the V20 Troika have a standing membership in the Program Alliance to better establish and channel vulnerable country needs.

Number 2: Costa Rica ranks number two in the world among countries most exposed to multiple hazards, with 77.9 percent of the population and 80.1 percent of GDP located in areas at high risk of multiple hazards, including floods, cyclones, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Though vulnerable, we are also capable. We would like the Program Alliance to evaluate how different parts of the disaster risk finance architecture can work better together and what kind of institutional arrangements can help foster collaboration and accelerated action. This is of particular importance for developing countries, in particular middle- income countries, aiming to advance in disaster risk management but also facing complex tax situations.

Number 3: It is clear that public sector resources and abilities will not be enough to close this protection gap. In addition, important work is needed in several multilateral financial mechanisms by advancing de-risking policies, among others. Nevertheless, we need to urgently engage with the private sector to scale and widen our reach. With that, the V20 commitment is the continuous development and implementation of the in-house V20-initiated Sustainable Insurance Facility, which aims to increase private sector uptake of climate-smart insurance for small businesses. We propose that UNEP FI and regional development banks must be part of the Program Alliance because they are delivery partners of the SIF. As Minister Wase pointed out, we have to address the problem of 2% private financial protection coverage. The Sustainable Insurance Facility is the V20 contribution to protect 500 million vulnerable people by 2025. We hope that the SIF will be a core program of InsuResilience.

Distinguished Members, we welcome the continued leadership and work of this Program Alliance. I would like to thank you all for your hard work here today and express my hope that we keep very active going forward.