1 Aug 2011

Cook Islands government establishes disaster management fund

7:30 pm on 1 August 2011

The Cook Islands has established a disaster management fund this year to ensure it's better prepared financially for natural disasters.

Finance Minister, Mark Brown, says the Cook Island's latest budget has allocated more than 175 thousand US dollars, to kickstart the fund.

He says like every other Pacific country, they live with the expectation of a disaster and they decided they wanted to have funds readily available if needed.

Mark Brown says they hope to boost that fund up to 8.7 million US dollars over time to help with emergencies.

"We're looking at a system of levies, yet to be determined, which will increase this fund each year as we go along. So it's important for us, as a government, that we have access to funding immediately in the aftermath of a cyclone, without having to wait for our partners to come in and assist us, so that's critical."

Cook Islands Finance Minister, Mark Brown.