Negative experiences in accessing funds

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad during an interview inside his office at Ro Lalabalavu House in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Pacific region has had negative experiences in accessing climate funds because of the rigorous and complex requirements in accessing them, says Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad.

In his address at the International Monetary Fund high-level meeting, Prof Prasad also stated that getting financing rights were crucial to stability and securing the development prospects of Pacific Island states.

“From 2003-2019, climate financing accessed by SIDS amounted to a meagre $1.7billion,” Prof Prasad said.

“Our development partners tell us that this is because we face capacity constraints.

“Some of us even go further to say that the procedures are deliberately complicated in order to restrain small island states from accessing scarce climate funds.”

Prof Prasad, one of the country’s three deputy PMs, said this year was crucial for climate finance and the world needed to agree to a new collective quantified financial goal at COP29.

“Fiji has said before and I repeat — we believe that at its floor, this should be in the order of $750b — up from the present $100b,” he said.

“Fiji has also said that given our unique vulnerabilities; 10 per cent of the global climate finances should be locked into special purpose windows for small island states.

“Access to climate funds matters. Speed of access to finance matters. The pre-positioning of finance matters.”

He also believed climate finance should flow speedily to governments and from governments, climate finance should flow speedily and directly to communities and stakeholders on the frontlines.

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