“We don’t have the luxury of time”- Forum Chair calls for international support at launch event for Pacific’s $US1.5b resilience facility

Virtual Launch of the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) Prospectus and Logo

Statement by the Honourable Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum

Wednesday 12 May 2021–Honourable Ministers, Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, Excellencies, Development partners, Representatives of international and regional organisations, distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Talofa and warm greetings from Tuvalu. As Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, I am honoured to be part of this event to launch the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) Prospectus and Logo.
Let me congratulate the PRF team at the Secretariat led by the Secretary General, the PRF Technical Working Group led by Secretary Garth Henderson of Cook Islands and the Forum Troika team at the UN in New York led by Ambassador Samuelu Laloniu of Tuvalu. I also want to pay tribute to Mr Deodat Maharaj, our former PRF consultant for his immense contribution to the development of the PRF, and to all Forum members for their collaboration to develop a truly Pacific owned and led financing facility for resilience building in the region.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, our event today marks the start of the PRF capitalisation process. The PRF is no longer just an idea. Our Forum Economic Ministers have endorsed establishment arrangements for the PRF and a prospectus to market the PRF to the world to raise funds to get the facility operational. The PRF is ready for capitalisation and we are ready to share it with the rest of the world.
Our focus now is on preparing for an international pledging event for the PRF, to be hosted by the UN Secretary General in October. Ahead of this, we want to raise awareness and support for the PRF across our Blue Pacific region and internationally to build momentum towards our goal of raising US$1.5 billion to capitalise the facility.
I know it will not be easy. Given the current global environment and uncertainties in the development finance landscape, this will be a huge challenge.
But we believe the PRF is needed now, more than ever, to help our vulnerable Pacific communities build back better post-COVID 19 and be more resilient against recurring disasters and climatic impacts. The PRF is a Pacific designed, led and owned facility established to build resilience in our communities around the region. It is a unique approach and an innovative facility that provides a niche product outside the areas normally supported by existing resilience funding mechanisms. It is also a concrete example for development partner and donors to showcase their global leadership on financing for adaptation and resilience building.
The PRF is an example of the Pacific coming up with a practical solution to the climate change and disaster challenges we face every year. We in the Pacific do not want to stand by and wait for the next disaster, but rather that we take proactive steps to prepare and drive solutions that we know will work in our unique context.
To realise this, I am calling on the international community, especially our development partners, to support the Pacific Islands Forum in its efforts to capitalise the PRF. So far, we have solicited support from 30 countries and organisations and I thank partners for the support to date.
Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, our region faces many climate change and disaster related challenges that require our urgent attention. We don’t have the luxury of time and cannot afford to wait any longer. We must act now. Our young people and future generations are counting on us and expect us to build communities that are resilient and secure against disasters and an environment that guarantees prosperous livelihoods for their future.
Today, I invite you all to join us and be part of our solution. Together, we can deliver a legacy outcome to secure the future of Our Blue Pacific continent. Your support will go a long way in enabling our Pacific communities to build their resilience and strengthen their preparedness against the climate and disaster impacts that hit our region every year.
With these few words, it is my pleasure to officially launch the PRF Prospectus.
I thank you.–END

Check Against Delivery, May 12, 2021

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