The difficulty of accessing global climate finance led to the creation of the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF).

Cook Islands Foreign Affairs and Immigration secretary Tepaeru Herrmann said Pacific countries have for a number of years voiced their concerns at the difficulty in accessing climate financing.

“The execution rates for us is negligible,” Herrmann told a press briefing for journalists in Rarotonga ahead of the opening of the Forum Leaders Meeting today.

“We know what the solutions are – for emitters to deliver and pay for the damage. The delivery modalities and governance of those mechanisms must be in the hands of Pacific countries because there are multitude of financial modalities that exist.

“So in many ways those for whom it was intended, it was not delivered. Those who made the promises and pledges also did not deliver because the execution rates were not was intended to be. We look forward to this week where our Pacific leaders most likely will deliver the same messages,” said Herrmann.

Herrmann said the Pacific Resilience Facility will target development partners to commit support for the fund to be used for Pacific adaptation measures.

“So for our smaller island communities like Tuvalu, Niue, Marshall Islands are able to actually access and are able to bolster and strengthen their climatic and economic resilience,” she said.

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting this week in Rarotonga are expected to adopt and approve the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) during their retreat in Aitutaki on Thursday.

This initiative has been regionally led and developed and is an instrument by the Pacific and for the Pacific.

The design of the Pacific Resilience Facility was influenced by two compelling issues – the need to address extreme vulnerability of Pacific peoples caught in the climate emergency, and the burden of debt distress faced by Forum Islands members.

These key concerns have shaped the facility, its structure and leadership, and the way it will respond to Pacific nations searching for easier ways to access and fund adaptation and advance preparedness against disasters caused by climate change.

The new facility will not take away the multi-million-dollar global climate financing mechanisms of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility(GEF), as it will deal with much smaller amounts “focussing very much on individual countries and the kinds of projects that just slip through the cracks- usually with people who live in very vulnerable situations.