South Asia: Enormous human tragedy

Indian reinsurer General Insurance Corporation (GIC), together with other nationalised general insurance majors, are expected to be hit hard by the massive devastation caused by the tsunami in South Asian countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and &to=http:// 21/97/385/14768_tsunami.html ' target=_blank>Thailand. This is over and above the claims being faced by them on account of the damage done by the tsunami in India.

In contrast, major global reinsurers have said one of the worst natural disasters in modern history would not burden them much as the majority of the losses in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Malaysia and the Maldives were not insured at all. However, GIC is a leading reinsurer in the South Asian region, with substantial exposure in countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The business of reinsurance is a two-way process: while Indian risks get shared by other countries through reinsurance arrangements, risks from other countries also are shared by domestic insurers and GIC, reports the Indian Express.

According to the CBC News, around the devastated Indian Ocean rim, an outpouring of global aid began to reach survivors.

With the overall death toll forecast to hit 150,000, the world continued to shower unprecedented compassion on the suffering. The United Nations said governments and global organizations have pledged about $2 billion US in tsunami relief, a quarter of it from &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Japan - the single largest donor so far.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced Canada was doubling its commitment to $80 million.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan plans to arrive in Jakarta on Thursday to co-ordinate aid efforts at a donors' conference in Indonesia, where the catastrophe claimed at least 80,000 lives.

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