By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai

The Pacific Islands Forum Director of Programmes and Initiatives, Zarak Khan has provided an update on the progress of the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF), shedding light on the significant interest and support it has received during the climate summit at COP28 in Dubai.

Khan acknowledged role played by the Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown at the Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga in spearheading efforts to endorse the PRF declaration.

He highlighted the active support by Pacific leaders and champions, utilising the PRF as a tool to address climate-related challenges.

Commenting on the PRF’s role, Khan emphasised that while it is not viewed as a panacea for all climate change problems in the Pacific region, it serves as a crucial instrument to assist Pacific Island states.

“The PRF is meant to assist us when it comes to unlocking financing envelopes, which unfortunately, we face a lot of bottlenecks, especially the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility(GEF), and a number of other international financing mechanisms where countries, faces anywhere between three to four years, sometimes excess this funding.

“We are very pleased that we are moving in the right direction,” Khan said.

He highlighted a significant US$50 million pledge from Saudi Arabia and a pledge from the United States, received during the Loss and Damage pledging this week.

Khan also encouraged political champions to utilise bilateral opportunities with potential pledging countries, advocating for the PRF and seeking further support.

“In terms of the momentum that we need, we’re encouraging our political champions to use the bilateral opportunities that they get with other potential pledges to talk about the PRF to ensure that they can advocate for it and get the support that we need,” Khan said.

Looking ahead to next year, Khan is excited about the PRF’s prospects.

“Moving forward to 2024 looks like a very exciting year for the PRF,” he said.