Koror, Palau (April 25, 2018) – Strengthening the economic resilience of the Blue Pacific region is the focus of the Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) this week in Palau.
FEMM is the premier regional annual meeting of Economic and Finance Ministers and this year the theme is “Building Economic Resilience of Pacific island countries through Sustainable Financing Flows”.
“The 2018 FEMM will be critically important to chart our destiny as a region and island nations with respect to building economic sustainability. In doing so, investment in economic resilience to climate change and natural disasters is crucial,” Hon. Elbuchel Sadang, Palau’s Minister of Finance and incoming Chair of the FEMM said.
Two of the key proposals tabled for discussion and decision by the Economic Ministers are on a Pacific Resilience Facility and the Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Change Insurance Facility. These proposals aim to address the need for increased investment in resilience using different policy and financial approaches to retrofit and risk-proof infrastructural assets now and in future.
The Pacific Resilience Facility proposes to develop a regional fund with specific risk-financing financial products to assist national governments, private sector and communities to invest in resilience initiatives. The proposal has gone through extensive consultations with Forum member countries; the work on the proposal was guided by a high-level technical working group, comprising the FEMM Chairs’ Troika: Cook Islands, Samoa and Palau and Fiji and New Zealand.
Another proposal for consideration is a Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Insurance Facility for Smaller Islands States’ (SIS) aims to develop regional climate change insurance products to assist countries in dealing with the effects of climate change. This proposal was the result of an initiative of the Government of Tuvalu, agreed to by SIS Leaders and now supported by a taskforce comprising Smaller Island State (SIS) members, key technical agencies and development partners in the region.
Minsters will also consider policies related to private sector involvement in national and regional climate change adaptation approaches, and the role of regional superannuation and provident funds to finance regional infrastructure needs; updates for Ministers will include progress on the regional work around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and our regional statistics capacity for SDGs reporting.
Close to 100 participants will attend the meeting representing Forum Members, the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), UN Agencies, Multilateral Development Banks, technical agencies and key donors.
The 2018 FEMM will conclude with the Forum Economic Ministers’ Dialogue with the Regional Private Sector and Civil Society, and a Regional Donor and Partner Roundtable on Friday (April 27, 2018).