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EU to help Pacific states tackle climate change

The European Union (EU) announced on Thursday that it will provide 20 million Euro ( 26.4 million U.S. dollars) to support the Pacific states in addressing the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to improve resilience to natural disasters.

The program titled “ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific” was signed Thursday by European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Director General Jimmie Rodgers, at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

“For the Pacific people, climate change is not about a distant future. It has become the new normal. This program will help the Pacific states in their efforts to adapt to this new climate reality. The Pacific states can count on Europe to continue its climate cooperation in the region,” Connie Hedegaard said.

The high vulnerability of Pacific Island countries to disaster is well known. This is further exacerbated by their often small land areas as well as their narrow, subsistence based fragile economies. Natural hazards undermine development and the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This program responds to these challenges and will strengthen the capacity of the Pacific states to address existing and emerging challenges with regard to the risks posed by natural hazards and related disasters, while maximising synergies between disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

This program is the Pacific component of the cooperation with the European Union on Disaster Risk Reduction. This ground- breaking program will bring a new impetus to the region in terms of the much needed synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change.

“We rely on the expertise provided by our partner in the region, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, as it will work closely with the ACP Pacific countries to ensure the sustainability of the results,” said Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Secretary General of the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

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