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NZ announces $2m funding for Fijian climate fund

February 26, 2020 4:55 pm
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand has today become the first country to contribute to Fiji’s Climate Relocation and Displaced Peoples Trust Fund.

This as New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern announced a two-million-dollar contribution to the fund.

The contribution comes from the $150 million package of Pacific-focused climate change assistance the Government announced at the Pacific Islands Forum last August.

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Speaking at the University of the South Pacific, Ardern says Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama had asked for a contribution to the Fiji Trust last year.

“New Zealand really the funding that we announce today, for instance, it came with the request of the Fiji government. We’re the first contributes towards it and it is been driven by Fiji for Fiji and for those communities by those communities and I think that is so important. No one is to be the ones coming in and make those decisions on those communities’ behalf. That is meant for Fiji but really I think everyone has seen the reality sadly.”

Ardern says the relocation of communities has already started in Fiji and five communities have been moved to a date and a further 42 have applied for Government support to move.

She says Fiji is on the front line of the battle against climate change and it is important that New Zealand supports those who contributed the least to rising sea levels and extreme weather but who’re experiencing it the most to resettle their communities in safer places.

Praising the fund, which is a world-first initiative, Ardern says it’s a practical project that helps people already impacted by climate change that they want to ensure their assistance is targeted at.

“We here in the Pacific have long known that we are so much stronger and so much more effective when we speak with one voice and act as a region from here and into the world. Last year as leaders we’ve highlighted the importance of maintaining region solidarity and encouraging engagement in the region that aligns with and supports Pacific’s priorities and values.”

Ardern continues her tour tomorrow in the Western Division, before departing for Australia in the evening.

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