Pacific Island countries face catastrophic debt

August 3, 2022 4:10 pm

[File Photo]

The effects of climate change is causing Pacific Islands, including Fiji to experience what is termed “catastrophic debt”.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Director Programmes & Initiatives, Zarak Khan says this is where countries are now engaged in a cycle of debt, where they have to borrow more to mitigate the impacts of climate change and pandemic on their economies.

“So if you look at Fiji for example, we had Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016 and that was followed by numerous other cyclones at Category Level 5. The Fijian Government has had to borrow billions of dollars over the last several years to try and help the Fijian economy recover. Obviously Fiji and other countries are trying to build back better, meaning that we’re trying to have more resilient infrastructure that can withstand these catastrophic events.”

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Khan says this was part of discussions at the two-day Resilience Learning Event at Holiday Inn in Suva today.

The event saw disaster risk management stakeholders from Fiji and the Pacific region gather to exchange experiences and lessons on resilience action that have been taking place at national and regional level.