New Zealand will support Fiji to relocate communities displaced by climate change through a $2 million contribution to the Climate Relocation and Displaced Peoples Trust Fund, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today in Suva.
The contribution comes from the $150 million packages of Pacific-focused climate change assistance the Government announced at the Pacific Islands Forum last August.
Speaking to an audience of students and staff at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus, Jacinda Ardern acknowledged that displacement due to the effects of climate change is already a reality across the Pacific.
“The relocation of communities has already started in Fiji. Five communities have been moved to date and a further 42 have applied for Government support to move,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Prime Minister Bainimarama asked New Zealand to make a contribution to the Fiji Trust last year and we are pleased to meet his request and become the first country to do so.
“Fiji is on the front line of the battle against climate change. It’s important we support those who contributed the least to rising sea levels and extreme weather but who’s experiencing it the most to resettle their communities in safer places.
“This is a reality we have a collective responsibility to manage and support. “Fiji’s Trust Fund is a world-first initiative that aims to sustainably and sensitively manage the relocation of Fiji’s communities. It’s a practical project that helps people already impacted by climate change that we want to ensure our assistance is targeted at.
“Our contribution will help to ensure that the fund operates robustly, effectively, and meets the needs of these at-risk communities. We expect to share and use what we learn from this programme throughout the region,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Image Source: Fijian Government