NADI, FIJI (1 May 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Ireland today signed agreements establishing the Ireland Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Contribution Arrangements were signed by ADB Vice-President Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed and Ireland’s Minister for International Development Mr. Ciarán Cannon on the opening day of the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors in Nadi, Fiji.
The trust fund is committing to an initial 6-year program of funding of €12 million ($13.4 million) for the period 2019 to 2024. Funding for the second half of 2019 will be €1.5 million and it is envisaged that some projects can commence this year. The trust fund will primarily support technical assistance and capacity development in the SIDS.
“ADB recognizes that the small island developing states are among the world’s most at-risk nations to natural hazards and the effects of climate change,” said Mr. Saeed. “We are delighted to partner with the Government of Ireland to establish this trust fund, which will help people in the region improve their resilience to climate change through activities such as financing climate-proof infrastructure, helping countries plan for and respond to climate change, and leveraging global climate resources for mitigation and adaptation efforts.”
"The trust fund represents a deepening of our cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and reflects our commitment to small island developing states and to combating climate change,” said Mr. Cannon. “Ireland recognizes the vulnerability of many small island developing states is particularly acute, and, as a small island state ourselves, this is something to which we should respond."
The overall objective of the fund is to increase the preparedness and resilience of SIDS to disasters caused by natural hazards and to the impact of climate change. The expected outcome of the fund is an increased number of investments in climate change and disaster resilience.
ADB member SIDS comprise Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.