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Countries in the Pacific region will now have assistance in being more resilient to climate disturbances after the launching of the USAID Climate Ready project office in Suva yesterday.
The five-year project which was launched in November last year is expected to award up to $23.9 million (US$17.7 million) over the duration of the project and it will cover 12 Pacific Island Countries.
U.S Ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin said the US Government was pleased to work with Pacific governments, the private sector and civil society to address their most pressing development needs.
“The project is working with 12 countries in the Oceania region to support their efforts to become more resilient to extreme weather events and natural disaster, to protect the lives and livelihoods of Pacific communities and to increase prosperity,” Cefkin said.
“Through our 'Ready' partnerships, we seek to help governments develop the necessary policies, regulations and legal frameworks to achieve their adaptation goals.
Cefkin highlighted that a key component of the project was to increase Pacific Island Countries access to international sources of financing. "International funds, such as the Green Climate Fund, present opportunities for countries in the region," she said.
“But accessing finance is just one part of the solution. To best utilise available funding and ensure that the most vulnerable among us benefit, projects must be well managed and implemented.” She added that the right people with right skills were necessary if these projects were to deliver on their promises.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprrises, Civil Service and Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said for a country like Fiji, it was more about the ability to recognise the people who could carry out the adaptation projects.
He said there was a need for more private sector participation in the adaptation space.
Countries included in the project are Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga , Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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