30 Jun 2015

Fund to better prepare for disasters launched

12:34 pm on 30 June 2015

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, in New Zealand for humanitarian talks, has announced a fund to discover new ways to prepare for natural disasters.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark and Pacific leaders have also flown into Auckland for the three-day regional consultation for the first World Humanitarian Summit being held in Turkey next May.

World Humanitarian Summit Pacific Consultation. Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia

Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Julie Bishop said Australia was putting up $2 million for a humanitarian innovation challenge, asking governments, agencies and individuals to come up with ideas to improve disaster responses.

"We're inviting people to come up with the very best ideas, that we can then assess and trial, and if we believe they'll work we can scale them up and feed that experience into the World Humanitarian Summit."

Ms Clark, now the administrator of the UN development programme, said more investment was needed for climate change adaptation and to reduce the risk from disasters.

But Pacific leaders said Governments needed to be more ambitious and to act more urgently to save them from the effects of climate change and extreme weather.

World Humanitarian Summit Pacific Consultation. Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

Former prime minister Helen Clark at the regional consultation in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski