WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13: Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake just before 5pm yesterday. More than 100,000 people are believed to have died in the quake, which destroyed hospitals and many other building in the area.

Finance Minister Paula Cox addressed the Haiti earthquake tragedy today.

Minister Cox said: "While we all mourn the very tragic personal toll that the people of Haiti are currently going through as a result of the devastation caused by the earthquake, Bermuda is able to assist not just at the micro level in terms of our charitable giving, but also at the macro level by virtue of Bermuda's financial participation in the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (the CCRIF), as a donor country. This should prove to be of some assistance to Haiti."

Minister Cox noted that the Haitian Government purchased earthquake coverage from the CCRIF, which yesterday issued a press release on its earthquake coverage provided to Haiti.

Minister Cox continued: "This Facility was established by large country donors among the OECD/G20 in partnership with the World Bank to assist the small economies in the Caribbean area. Bermuda recognising its leadership role in global finance and our developed economy not only purchased the hurricane insurance option, but also joined the donor nations and made a donation to CCRIF's capital base.

"Therefore Bermuda became the only Island jurisdiction to both purchase insurance from CCRIF as well as make a one-time donation.

"We are proud to see our flag flying in the sixth spot in the letterhead of the CCRIF press release on the Earthquake in Haiti. CCRIF also periodically invites Bermuda disaster management officials to disaster management conferences in the Caribbean

"The OECD queried at last September's Global Forum in Mexico regarding what members of the Global Forum were doing to assist less fortunate countries in the so called third world and Bermuda proudly spoke of our unique dual support to CCRIF. We pray for Haiti and can derive some comfort somewhat that our participation in the CCRIF will help to support a country and people in need. However the Bermuda spirit is one that leaves me in no doubt that this will not be the extent of Bermuda's charitable giving to help a jurisdiction in need."