Fiji Time: 2:15 PM on Monday 20 November

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Pacific receives less than 2pc funds

Lice Movono In Bonn, Germany
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

LESS than two per cent of global finance for climate change adaptation goes towards the health of human beings and even less than that goes to Small Island Developing States, a grouping that includes Fiji.

That is the situation of a joint project between UN Climate (UNFCC), the World Health Organization and the Fijian Presidency of COP23.

Launched by the heads of the three organisations and celebrity champion, former Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Bonn, Germany, at the COP23, the project has four goals.

Echoing a common consensus that the Paris Agreement when fully operational would not be enough to reduce global warming to safe temperatures, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world needed to do much more and quickly.

"Less than 1.5 per cent of international finance for climate change adaptation is allocated to projects which ensure that the health of all people is preserved, and only a fraction of this supports small island developing states," Dr Tedros said.

"The recent severe weather events in the Caribbean demonstrate that targeted interventions are important. We need to do much more and we need to act very quickly."

The initiative aims to have client resilient health systems in SIDS by 2010 amplify the voice of health leaders, support the business case for investment in climate change and health, promote policies to improve preparedness and prevention, triple international financial support to health in SIDS.

"People living in Small Island Developing States are on the front line of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and increased risk of infectious disease," said Dr Tedros.

"We owe it to these people to do everything we can to help them prepare for the future that is already washing up on their shores."

UN Climate executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa said climate change would increasingly impact the health and well-being of people everywhere unless nations fully implement the Paris Agreement.

"This initiative can strengthen the response of small islands to the rising risks as the world works to ensure that together we keep a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and better, no higher than 1.5 degrees, " she said.

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