Disaster risk finance a priority for Pacific countries, says Samoa PM

Samoa's prime minister says Pacific Island countries need access to finance for the climate change realities they face every day.

He was speaking to a group of climate scientists, experts and delegates in New Zealand's capital at the Pacific Climate Conference.

Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi opened the climate summit reminding delegates that people from developed nations are not immune to the effects of climate change.

The remains of Cyclone Gita had just passed through Wellington and forced a change to the conference programme as some delegates were not able get into the city on day one.

Tuilaepa told the hundreds of delegates a major climate challenge for the Pacific is forced relocation due to sea level rise.

"Therefore timely and simplified access to international climate change and disaster risk finance is a priority."

Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said this is the only way they will be able to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change in a timely manner.