Ireland commits $35.2 million to Pacific disaster resilience

The Government of Ireland and the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) have established a trust fund together worth US$13.4 million (T$35.2 million), in order to improve regional resilience to climate change and disasters in small island developing states (SIDS).

The signing took place between Ireland’s Minister for International Development Mr. Ciarán Cannon and the A.B.D. Vice-President Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed on the opening day of the 52nd A.B.D. Annual Meeting in Nadi, Fiji.

The fund, called the Ireland Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is currently a six-year program, running from 2019 to 20234. The rest of 2019 will already see US$1.68 million (T$4.4 million) spent in the region, in technical assistance and capacity development.

“Ireland recognizes the vulnerability of many small island developing states is particularly acute, and, as a small island state ourselves, this is something to which we should respond,” said Mr Cannon.

 “The trust fund represents a deepening of our cooperation with the A.B.D. and reflects our commitment to small island developing states and to combating climate change.”

The bank expects the fund to increase investments in climate change and disaster resilience in the region, and to improve resilience overall.

Mr Saeed said A.B.D. is “delighted” to partner with Ireland.

“A.B.D. recognises that the small island developing states are among the world’s most at-risk nations to natural hazards and the effects of climate change,” said Mr Saeed.

“We are delighted to partner with the Government of Ireland to establish this trust fund, which will help people in the region improve their resilience to climate change through activities such as financing climate-proof infrastructure, helping countries plan for and respond to climate change, and leveraging global climate resources for mitigation and adaptation efforts.”

The Small Island Developing States are Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

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