Dublin creates Pacific islands climate fund

2 May 19

Ireland has launched a fund to help island states in the Pacific cope with the impact of rising seas.

The Irish government and the Asian Development Bank have agreed to a 6-year programme aimed at strengthening preparations in the region for natural disasters and climate change.

The ‘Ireland Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States’ will provide €12m ($13.4m) until 2024 to support technical assistance and capacity development.

“Ireland recognises 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 Ireland’s minister for international development Ciarán Cannon.

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

Cannon was speaking in Nadi, Fiji, on the opening day of the 52nd annual meeting of the ADB’s board of governors, where the agreement was signed.

The fund will increase investments in climate change and disaster resilience in SIDS that are members of the ADB – the 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.

Funding for the second half of 2019 will be €1.5m, and it is envisaged that some projects can commence this year.

ADB vice-president Ahmed M. Saeed said: “ADB 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.

“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.”

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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