Small States discuss disaster risk reduction in Samoa conference

Small island states recently had the opportunity to reflect on important disaster risk reduction concerns at a meeting in Apia, Samoa.

Participants were also able to take stock of progress made towards some of the important frameworks that the small island states are a party to, namely the SAMOA Pathway and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Commonwealth shared its work designed to help small island states understand and access finance for disaster preparedness, response and recovery, including a disaster risk finance portal, soon to go live, debt management software, designed to build financial resilience and the Climate Finance Access Hub which helps remove red tape when applying for climate funding.

The Climate Finance Access Hub has helped mobilize £140 million in climate finance across eight countries that previously struggled to access those funds.

Travis Mitchell, Head of the Economic Policy and Small States at the Commonwealth Secretariat said, “Even though there is a lot of finance available for small states, the main issue is that the criteria to access those funds is terribly complicated.”

“You can imagine with small governments, already pressed for time, capacity and skills, it is really a significant burden for countries to produce the large body of documentation required to access climate finance.”

Officials expressed the need for new policies to incentivise long-term private sector investments as well as governing frameworks to engage non-governmental organisations and young people for building resilience.


Joshua Setima