Tropical Cyclone Winston damages in Rakiraki [Source: abc]
The bill generated due to the devastating Category five, Tropical Cyclone Winston is still being paid by Fiji.
The natural disaster which made landfall in February 2016 and killed 44 people, wiped out one-third of the value of Fiji’s GDP which is approximately $1.4 billion USD.
Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says, in addition, last year there were three cyclones which weren’t as substantial but did put a strain on Fiji’s budget.
Sayed-Khaiyum adds the effects of climate change is taking its toll on Pacific Island Countries, posing struggles of forced migration, relocation and economic setbacks.
However, the Minister also adds the ability to attain the Sustainable Development Goals targets are also limited.
“For example, will you be able to have full tertiary medical care, if you are being ravaged by single events which have huge distractive effects on your economy on a yearly basis, your ability to bounce back is limited but your ability to be able to meet the SDG targets are in fact extremely limited as that requires additional resources.”
Sayed-Khaiyum says, therefore, access to climate financing is vital for all countries battling the effects of climate change.