PIFS Press Release, 28th April 2018
Koror, Palau (April 25, 2018) – Strengthening the economic resilience of the Blue Pacific region is the focus of the Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) this week in Palau.
FEMM is the premier regional annual meeting of Economic and Finance Ministers and this year the theme is “Building Economic Resilience of Pacific island countries through Sustainable Financing Flows”.
“The 2018 FEMM will be critically important to chart our destiny as a region and island nations with respect to building economic sustainability. In doing so, investment in economic resilience to climate change and natural disasters is crucial,” Hon. Elbuchel Sadang, Palau’s Minister of Finance and incoming Chair of the FEMM said.
Two of the key proposals tabled for discussion and decision by the Economic Ministers are on a Pacific Resilience Facility and the Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Change Insurance Facility. These proposals aim to address the need for increased investment in resilience using different policy and financial approaches to retrofit and risk-proof infrastructural assets now and in future.
The Pacific Resilience Facility proposes to develop a regional fund with specific risk-financing financial products to assist national governments, private sector and communities to invest in resilience initiatives. The proposal has gone through extensive consultations with Forum member countries; the work on the proposal was guided by a high-level technical working group, comprising the FEMM Chairs’ Troika: Cook Islands, Samoa and Palau and Fiji and New Zealand.
Another proposal for consideration is a Pacific Island Countries’ Climate Insurance Facility for Smaller Islands States’ (SIS) aims to develop regional climate change insurance products to assist countries in dealing with the effects of climate change. This proposal was the result of an initiative of the Government of Tuvalu, agreed to by SIS Leaders and now supported by a taskforce comprising Smaller Island State (SIS) members, key technical agencies and development partners in the region.