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Pacific Institutions Not Certified To Get Climate Funds: A-G

Pacific Islands Finance Ministers were yesterday informed that there was no financial institution in the region that was certified to be a recognised agency to receive climate funds. Attorney-General and
23 Jul 2016 13:29
Pacific Institutions Not Certified To Get Climate Funds: A-G
ttorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (fourth from left) with Pacific Islands Finance Ministers at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island in Nadi yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO News

Pacific Islands Finance Ministers were yesterday informed that there was no financial institution in the region that was certified to be a recognised agency to receive climate funds.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment while addressing them at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island in Nadi.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said an application was already made for the Fiji Development Bank to be approved as one of the institutions to receive such funds.

He said Fiji recently received a $32 million grant for water access but this had to be sourced through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) because it was a recognised institution.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the inability of Pacific Islands to access these funds was because their projects were “un-bankable.”

“Pacific Island countries should come together to have a bankable project,” he said.

“If we got together, we will have the volume and if a proposal was done on this basis, then they would get interested.

“If we approach them independently we will not necessarily have that kind of attraction that is required.”

Earlier he had said accessing climate funds was not easy and was rather quite bureaucratic whether it was in the form of grant or soft loan.

“Most of our officials don’t know how to navigate through to access these loans,” he said.

Meanwhile Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one of the issues that needed to be discussed was the processing of grants, concessions and loans from organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and ADB.

“A lot of their assessment is based on gross national income per capita,” he said.

“So if you are from a particular threshold, you do not get the grant or the concessionary loan.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji’s position was prone to a lot of vulnerability like climate change and the fact that the country’s economic base was not very broad.

Edited by Rusiate Matika

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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