A trust fund to boost climate change and disaster resilience in Small Island States (SIDS) was established by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Ireland on the opening day of the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors on May 1, in Nadi, Fiji.
The Contribution Agreements were signed by ADB Vice-President Mr Ahmed Saeed and Ireland’s Minister for International Development Mr Ciarán Cannon.
The trust fund’s initial six-year program commits €12 million ($13.4 million) of funding for the period 2019 to 2024, with €1.5 million provided in the second half of 2019 to allow some projects to start this year.
The funding is primarily for technical assistance and capacity development in SIDS.
Mr Ahmed Saeed said the ADB recognizes that SIDS are among the world’s most at-risk nations to natural hazards and 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.”
Mr Cannon said Ireland recognises the vulnerability of many SIDS is particularly acute, and as a small island state ourselves this is something to which we should respond.
“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.”
The aim of the fund is to increase preparedness and resilience of SIDS to disasters caused by natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. The outcome expected is an increase in the number of climate change and disaster resilience investments.
SIDS members of the ADB include 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.
In 2018, the ADB made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while supporting efforts to end extreme poverty.
The ADB was established in 1966 and is owned by 68 members - 49 from the region.