World Bank launches Pacific resilience program


The World Bank has launched the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP), a series of projects aimed at strengthening Pacific Island countries’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

It incorporates the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), which includes an insurance pool, in order to deliver quick injections of cash to governments immediately after eligible disasters.

The project was launched as part of a 3-day workshop where participants from Pacific Island governments, regional bodies and project staff will receive training to support the implementation of the Program, which will include initiatives and activities related to early warning tools, risk reduction investments and financial planning for disasters.

“PREP allows us to work together with our Pacific neighbors, to take a pro-active approach to managing natural disasters in the region,” said Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga. “We are committed to strengthening Tonga against future natural disasters and being a partner in this initiative is an important part of that strategy.”

The partnership between Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the World Bank uses a regional approach to disaster risk management to share expertise and increase economies of scale.

Colin Tukuitonga, director-general of the Pacific Community, said: “History has unfortunately shown just how devastating disasters can be for Pacific Island countries and territories. As the region’s principal scientific organisation, we understand how valuable it is to share knowledge and tools to better manage disasters and reduce their impact. We’re proud to be a part of this initiative with the World Bank and others, and to further support our region to withstand disasters.”

The program is funded through $32.3 million in grants and credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.

The Global Environment Facility Special Climate Change Fund to Tonga and PIFS have provided $55 million; the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience to the Pacific Community (SPC) has provided $5.8 million in grant funding; and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery to Tonga has provided $1.5 million in grant funding.

World bank, Asia-Pacific, Resilience, Pacific Resilience Program, Insurance Pooling

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