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PM: Change Climate Change Funding Format

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called for changes to the present arrangements for funding climate change adaptation. At a media briefing organised by the United Nations office for the Co-ordination
22 Apr 2016 11:17
PM: Change Climate Change Funding Format
From left: Assistant Secretary-General of Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Co-ordinator in the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, and Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Peter Thomson during a UN media briefing in New York. Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called for changes to the present arrangements for funding climate change adaptation.

At a media briefing organised by the United Nations office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs yesterday, the current arrangements were impeding the ability of small and vulnerable states to gain access to concessional funding, he said.

Fiji was also precluded from accessing concessional financing because it had been designated as a middle income nation, he said.

“In a very real sense, we are being punished for our success. But this needs to change because as Cyclone Winston has shown, we are still highly vulnerable to single climatic events,” he said.

He stressed that unless these challenges could be overcome; there was little hope of countries like Fiji meeting its Sustainable Development Goals and to be able to make the fundamental transformation in the lives of the people that this global agenda entailed.

“We are at a crossroad here. And we look to the rest of the world – and especially the developed nations – to work with us to develop a comprehensive and practical framework to build economic resilience in our countries,” he said.

He said while Winston had been a crippling blow, Fiji had been extremely fortunate that many of its tourism areas were not affected.

“We’ve been able to bring back our visitor numbers. And because we had been enjoying healthy growth rates, we have been able to bounce back quickly,” he said.

However he said Fiji knew if it had another cyclone and it hit the entire country, the economy could be devastated for many years to come.

A single climatic event had wiped out all the gains Fiji had made and setting back its socio economic development, he said. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as Winston was increasing, he said.

He said they were fearful about what this meant, not only for themselves but for future generations. PM explains Govt initiatives At yesterday’s press conference Mr Bainimarama explained two Government initiatives – Help for Homes and Adopt A School.

He said for the Adopt A School for those interested could fund the whole school rebuilding or just a particularly building. Mr Bainimarama said he also acknowledged the many friends who rallied to Fiji’s assistance.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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