7 May 2019

Pacific Forum wants regional disaster preparedness

12:00 pm on 7 May 2019

A climate advisor with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Exsley Taloiburi, says regional resilience needs investment in preparedness to mitigate risks from climate change and disasters.

A high tide across Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, causing widespread flooding. Officials in the Marshall Islands blamed climate change for severe flooding in the Pacific nation's capital Majuro.

Photo: AFP

Speaking during the Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting in Fiji he says this involves empowering communities to be prepared.

The Nuku'alofa Times reported him saying community grants will be available to retrofit community halls, schools, jetties and other critical infrastructure, and lives, livelihoods and valuable community assets will be protected before cyclones or other disasters hit.

The Forum secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, said she hoped Pacific governments and development partners would help the facility reach its goal of $US1.5 billion dollars of capital.

She said most financial support for Pacific countries tends to focus on post-disaster relief and recovery but this new facility seeks to build resilience of governments, the private sector and communities, by investment in upfront preparedness.

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