21st November 2022, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva – More than 2,000 Pacific people were assisted during the implementation phase of the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP) over a period of seven years.
The PIFS PREP project concluded on 31st October 2022. The objective of the PREP was to strengthen early warning, resilient investments and financial protection across four participating Pacific Island countries, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The PREP also supports two regional organisations: PIFS and the Pacific Community (SPC) in terms of both their technical, management and coordination roles.
The PIFS project of the PREP was funded by the World Bank with support provided through the International Development Association and the Global Environment Facility Special Climate Change Fund with a total project cost of USD $2.220m (FJD5.2m). The PREP has been successful in improving the resilient and sustainable economic and social development of the participating countries.
Acting Secretary General, Dr. Filimon Manoni, said the partnership with World Bank has helped to strengthen the resilience of the Pacific people and in particular the capacity of participating countries to respond to disaster events.
“We in the Pacific are amongst the most vulnerable globally to the impacts of climate change and disasters. The support provided to us over the years on many fronts by donors such as the World Bank and our development partners goes a long way towards strengthening Pacific climate and disaster resilience.”
“As reflected in the 2050 Blue Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, our leaders have committed to protecting our ocean and environment as well as guaranteeing the future of our children. It is therefore prudent that we continue to work together as a global community ensuring a safer and sustainable planet.”
According to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of the Aid Management and Resilient Development Division of Tonga’s Ministry of Finance, Ms Saane Lolo, the country has benefitted from the PREP’s support over the years considering its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and geological hazards.
She added that “with the PREP’s support the ongoing implementation of Tonga’s Disaster Risk Financing Strategy will provide guidance and direction for the government to minimise the economic and physical effects of disasters, through a combination of instruments that address various identified risks”.
The former Chief Secretary for the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Mr. Benjamin Graham acknowledged the technical support by PREP on the review of the RMI Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.
“The final report of the review provided insights and recommendations to further strengthen and integrate our climate and disaster planning efforts going forward. It also provided an opportunity to improve our understanding on the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific” he said.
Since the PREP’s inception in October 2015, key achievements of the project at PIFS have included providing technical advice and support for the implementation of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and the Pacific Resilience Partnership; developing disaster risk financing and risk governance knowledge products; developing a ‘5-Point’ Disaster Risk Financing capacity building approach to guide the work of the Forum Secretariat in this space; leading the effort to secure endorsement of a strategic approach to Disaster Risk Financing by the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in 2021; developing the Pacific Resilience Standards, and; leading PIFS’ efforts to co-convene with the Pacific Community, the first ever Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction Ministers Meeting in September 2022 as an effort to elevate the regional discourse on disaster risk and obtain political level leadership of strategic regional and national disaster risk management priorities. [ENDS]
More on the Pacific Resilience Partnership can be found on https://www.resilientpacific.org/en