News Releases

The UWI receives US$250,000 towards student scholarships from CCRIF SPC

For Release Upon Receipt - December 3, 2020


On November 26, CCRIF SPC (formerly The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) presented a cheque for US$250,000 to The University of the West Indies (The UWI) for tuition scholarships for students in need of financial support.

Approximately US$108,000 of the funds are already allocated to undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year. This is comparable to the total amount traditionally contributed by CCRIF for merit scholarships on an annual basis since 2010. The remaining US$142,000 will cover the tuition fees of students, who due to the COVID-19 pandemic are finding it difficult to pay tuition and are at risk of not completing their studies. This financial support is part of the CCRIF SPC’s COVID-19 response geared towards supporting its members and other key stakeholders.

University Registrar, Dr. Maurice D. Smith in acknowledging CCRIF’s contributions, commented that both The UWI and CCRIF have had a longstanding relationship and the recent handing over ceremony is significant as an expression for support not only for the regional University, but the talented students who are pursuing programmes related to CCRIF’s mandate.

According to CCRIF Board Member, Saundra Bailey, “Since 2010, CCRIF has provided The UWI with over 70 scholarships totaling US$761,230. CCRIF continues to view its investments in scholarships as critical to building a cadre of individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to advance the resilience of the small island and coastal states of our region.” According to Mrs. Bailey, “During this pandemic CCRIF has both levelled up and pivoted to ensure that our members and key stakeholders are able to better confront and address the many challenges posed by climate change and COVID-19, with The UWI being one such partner.”

Professor Dale Webber, Principal of The UWI Mona Campus and Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness, signaled his gratitude for the tuition support for students especially in civil engineering, geography and geology. He asked CCRIF to consider scholarships in actuarial science, computer science and social work as these areas are also critical to strengthening the region’s response to disaster management.

In addition to undergraduate student tuition, CCRIF has also provided scholarships for UWI alumni to study for postgraduate degrees in the USA and the UK as well as pursue internships at UWI Departments and Centres such as the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, Climate Studies Group Mona and the Seismic Research Centre and other national and regional organisations involved in disaster risk management and meteorology.

Earlier this year, The UWI and CCRIF deepened their partnership with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at establishing a framework for the promotion and facilitation of disaster risk management, including modelling, disaster risk financing, and climate change adaptation as well as research, capacity-building and resilience-building initiatives to support and advance CARICOM’s ambition of making the Caribbean the world’s first climate-resilient zone.

One of the first outputs of the MOU was the development of a new course called Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Financing for Advancing Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is currently being offered through The UWI Open Campus. Over 30 students are registered in the first cohort to take this Continuing and Professional Education Certificate course, which offers four continuing education units.

Including the US$250,000 contribution, CCRIF’s overall support to The UWI over the period 2010 – 2020 has totaled over US$1 million through in scholarships, internships, the current MOU and two small grants to the departments of Food Production and Geography at the St. Augustine Campus. Those grants will facilitate community-based disaster risk reduction projects, support to the Seismic Research Centre towards establishing and maintaining a new accelerometric network in the Eastern Caribbean and Jamaica to enhance the capability for identifying and mitigating seismic risk in the Caribbean, and a contract with Lumin Consulting for work related to the CCRIF-Caribbean Development Bank Integrated Sovereign Risk Management Project.




Notes to the Editor:

Photo Caption


L-R: Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Mona Campus, Professor Dale Webber; President of The UWI Mona Campus Guild of Students, Sujae Boswell, University Registrar Dr. Maurice D. Smith; CCRIF Scholar; Elizabeth Emanuel, CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and CCRIF Corporate Communications Manager; and Mrs. Saundra Bailey, CCRIF Board Member at the handing over of US$250,000 for UWI Scholarships and tuition support.



CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to Caribbean and Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, a second MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members and facilitate the entry of Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, and Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW. Additional financing has been provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico; the Government of Ireland; and the European Union through its Regional Resilience Building Facility managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and The World Bank.

Website: | Email: |  Follow @ccrif_pr on Twitter and  CCRIF SPC on Facebook.


About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)