Multi-billion dollar climate fund approves Vanuatu Readiness proposal

Vanuatu is the first Pacific island country to have an 'Activity Area 4' grant under a the Green Climate Fund - multi-billion dollar climate fund - awarded. Activity Area 4 grants will support project development.

This follows news recently that the Cook Islands have received their first payment for a Readiness Grant in Activity Areas 1 &2. Activity Areas 1 & 2 focus on supporting country coordination and planning.

There are now a total of 4 Readiness grants approved for Pacific island countries with more in the pipeline.

"We'd like to congratulate Vanuatu and the Cook Island for these huge achievements, we recognise the amount of work that has gone in to seeking this Readiness grant of the GCF," said SPREP Director General, Mr Kosi Latu.

SPREP, is the only Pacific island organisation accredited as a Direct Access Entity to the GCF, and was part of the team working with the Government of Vanuatu to enable them to secure the Readiness grant. This brings Vanuatu one step closer towards accessing millions in much needed climate change funding.

Van GCFFlooding in Vanuatu

"This is really good news for Vanuatu and we look forward to working together with the SPREP team in progressing the project proposal forward to build the resilience of Vanuatu," said Mr Jesse Benjamin, Director of the Ministry of Climate Change of Vanuatu.

"I wish to assure SPREP and its partners our full support and cooperation of the National Advisory Board and the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disasters in the implementation of the project."

The Green Climate Fund was established to respond to climate change by investing in low carbon and climate resilient development. Countries have agreed to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion each year by 2020, and as of February 2016, the Green Climate Fund has raised USD 10.3 billion in pledges from 42 state governments. It is expected that up to USD 2.6 billion will be programmed to finance climate change projects this year.

In order to access the funds both the public and private sector must meet certain conditions and criteria. SPREP, as one of the 33 institutions globally that have been accredited to the GCF, can access grants of up to USD 50 million on behalf of Pacific countries.

SPREP is currently working with over five Pacific island countries on project proposal development or Readiness grant processes in collaboration with a number of partners, including civil society, the private sector and sister CROP agencies.

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Coastal erosion on Vanuatu

"We're building our capacity at SPREP to help service the regions climate finance needs. This year we'll definitely see significant progress in climate finance flowing to the region to support resilient, and low carbon development," said Mr Latu.

Other great strides with the Green Climate Fund include the announcement of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as an Observer with the Green Climate Fund. This further strengthens the Pacific regions representation and coordination with the Green Climate Fund to help ensure unique Pacific Small Island Developing States priorities are considered.

In 2015, USD 31 million was approved by the Green Climate Fund as an Adaptation Grant for the Fiji Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project, one of eight projects announced to receive the very first tranche of funding from the GCF.

"These positive outcomes for our Pacific island region are hopefully just the start of further funding and actions on the ground to address climate change, to come. I know that in the spirit of Pacific partnership and through collaboration and cooperation further benefits will be forthcoming as we all work together to achieve greater strides in the GCF," said Latu.

For further information please contact Simon Wilson, SPREP's Climate Finance Adviser - simonw@sprep.org

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