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The Asian Development Bank will step up assistance on climate mitigation and adaptation efforts across the Pacific said ADB President Takehiko Nakao in his opening address today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors.
“For countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, including in the Pacific, we will provide a wide range of assistance,” Nakao said as he highlighted climate change as one of the focus of ADB’s actions to implement Strategy 2030.
“For example, ADB will make Nauru’s main harbour more resilient to rising sea levels. We have scaled up our disaster contingent financing in the Pacific. This allows countries to access financial resources immediately in the wake of a disaster, based on predetermined criteria.”
Nakao said in 2018, ADB’s climate investments reached almost US$3.6 billion in approvals for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
He said by 2030, at least 75% of ADB’s operations will support mitigation and adaptation efforts.
On May 1, Pacific Ministers made a plea to ADB to build resilience against the impact of climate change and disasters, and overcome the constraints of geographical isolation and dispersed populations,
The Republic of the Marshall Islands Minister for Finance, Banking, and Postal Services, Brenson Wase, delivered a speech on behalf of the Pacific Developing Member Countries (DMC) during the first day of the ADB meeting on Wednesday urging international partners to work with smaller and vulnerable economies.
The DMCs countries are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Nakao said ADB is mobilising concessional resources from bilateral and multilateral partners including the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility.
Nakao said the Annual Meeting in Fiji is a “historic” occasion since it is the first held in a Pacific DMC.
“This is the first time ADB is holding its annual meeting in a Pacific developing member country. I am pleased that through this meeting we can showcase the development gains taking place across the Pacific,’ he said.
He added that in the region, there are a lot of opportunities such as the internet and digital technologies which overcome remoteness. The region also faces challenges such as extreme weather events caused by climate change.
“Pacific island countries have always been an important focus for ADB,” he stated,
Samoa joined ADB as a founding member in 1966 and from that time the number of Pacific island member countries has increased to 15. The newest, and 68th, the member is Niue.
SOURCE: PACIFIC NOTE/PACNEWS
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