The OECD is setting up an international network on financial management of large scale catastrophes

It will exchange information and experience on the financial mitigation and compensation of disasters, review the related tools and schemes implemented in OECD and non-OECD countries, and develop policy analysis aimed at improving catastrophe mitigation and compensation strategies.

This decision follows a conference held by the OECD in November 2004 on catastrophic risks and insurance which addressed all the main questions raised by the need for provide compensation for large scale disasters.

Presentations at the conference, which will become available from the OECD site at, covered insurability, the development of alternative risk transfer and risk financing mechanisms, and the appropriate role of governments in the prevention and compensation of disaster losses. Munich Re, which was the sole representative of the private insurance industry to take part in the UN's world conference on disaster reduction in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005, said afterwards: "All in all, the results of the conference are less than satisfactory. Although the conference takes place only every ten years, no new visions were in evidence. In the case of pressing issues such as a tsunami early warning system, national interests took precedence over the interests of quickly and effectively helping those affected."