EU commits €21.8m to climate resilient infrastructure in Pacific Islands

Dec 6, 2023 | Blog, Cook Islands, News, Pacific, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu

In a demonstration of its continued commitment to combat climate change and foster crucial infrastructure development, the European Union (EU) has inked three Financing Agreements totalling €21.8 million (US$23.2 million) with Pacific Island nations. The agreements, signed during the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders’ Meeting in the Cook Islands in November, exemplify the EU’s dedication to supporting climate-resilient communities and enhancing living conditions through initiatives in water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen said, “The European Union has been a steady and reliable partner for the Pacific Islands for many years. These agreements reaffirm the excellent cooperation between us and will contribute to improving the lives of local people.”

The agreements, signed between the European Commission and Fiji, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, were formalised by Koen Doens, Director General at the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Partnerships. This financial support aligns with the EU’s Global Gateway initiative, aiming to establish sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries.

A significant portion of the funding, €12.8 million (US$13.3 million), is allocated to Fiji for the ‘Time to Act! Towards Implementing the Climate Change Act’ program. This initiative aims to assist Fiji in implementing its ambitious Climate Change Act, adopted two years ago, through budget support and technical assistance.

The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) will receive €6 million (US$6.4 million) under the Financing Agreement for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector. This funding will aid in enhancing rainwater harvesting and storage structures, pollution prevention, and strengthening technical capacities of national and sub-national institutions and key stakeholders.

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is set to benefit from a €3 million (US$3.2 million) Financing Agreement for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector. The support includes targeted technical assistance to facilitate policy development, institutional reforms, regulatory changes, and financial measures, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure universal access to safe and resilient drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Pacific Islands nations face heightened vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards, disrupting weather patterns, exacerbating water scarcity, and compromising water supplies. The EU’s financial commitments aim to aid these nations in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, fostering sustainable development in the region.