[02 May 2022. Suva, Fiji]‘Fit-for-purpose’ national disaster risk financing will come under the spotlight this week when the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) co-hosts regional stakeholders in Suva for the inaugural Pacific Regional Symposium on Disaster Risk Financing (DRF).
Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary General, Dr Filimon Manoni is a keynote speaker at the event on 3-4 May. He said the recent Hunga-Tonga, Hunga-Ha’apai eruption in Tonga “has brought into sharp focus the need for appropriate DRF instruments as effective coping, recovery, and resilience-building tools for Pacific communities.”
He said the frequency and severity with which natural hazards, especially cyclones, affect the region “makes an urgent case for adequate, affordable risk financing for the world’s most vulnerable nations. It’s especially important that any disaster risk financing strategies are fit for purpose and context for Pacific SIDS.”
ASG Manoni says the inaugural event meets a call for more structured national DRF strategies, to ensure Pacific nations are able to manage their financial preparations for disaster risk and recovery. “I am encouraged to see the positive spirit by our partners in this Symposium, supporting a coordinated approach to building the capacity of our Member countries to access available opportunities.”
The Symposium is co-hosted by PIFS, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR); and all members of the Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) Technical Working Group on Disaster Risk Financing.
Participants will strengthen their understanding of the various elements of an effective DRF Strategy, including disaster-specific risks and levels of exposure and vulnerability, and the best financing model appropriate to each type.
“For UNDRR an important outcome of this symposium is to raise awareness amongst all stakeholders – including government , non-government and the private sector – about the different disaster risk financing modalities available and how they can be contextualized and applied at national and local levels across Pacific,” said Ms Gabrielle Emery, UNDRR Head of Pacific Subregional Office.
The event will facilitate knowledge sharing between stakeholders from across the DRF spectrum – governments, private sector, development agencies and NGOs. Participants will unpack the existing DRF ecosystem in the region, look at disaster risk management case studies from the Asia-Pacific and consider key lessons from DRF in the Caribbean region.
UNCDF Director Inclusive Digital Economies, Henri Dommel, said: “UNCDF, thorough its flagship Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme, is pleased to support the
Disaster Risk Financing Symposium organized by the Pacific Resilience Partnership under the Pacific Islands Forum.
“We recognize this as an important learning event for the regional and global audience in improving their understanding of the growing Disaster Risk Financing domain and how it fits within the broader Disaster Risk Management framework to build national capacities for tackling climate and disaster risks.”
The event is supported with funding from the World Bank through the PIFS Pacific Resilience Program and UNDRR.
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