Zarak Khan, Director of Programmes and Initiatives at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Friday laid out the roadmap for the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) during a briefing in Fiji.

The primary objective was clear – establish and operationalise the PRF with utmost urgency.

“The main priority for the Pacific Islands Forum and the Forum Secretariat is to get the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) established and up and running as soon as possible,” Khan said at the first monthly press briefings with Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna in Suva.

He said the endorsement of the facility declaration in Rarotonga last year marked a historic milestone after a seven-year journey.

“Our Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have endorsed the facility declaration in Rarotonga which was historic moment for us. It was a journey that took us seven years of intense consultation and design. It was driven by the member states of the Forum, in particular, the senior officials, our finance and economic ministers, but also every other aspect of national governments.

“So the focus at the moment is to get the facility upstanding. We’re very grateful and appreciative of the support from some of the first investors of into PRIF as you know the Australian government committed and pledged $100 million (US$65 million) at the COP28 last year,” said Khan.

He also highlighted the regional efforts to solidify the PRF’s structure and governance.

Khan said his team will be working with member states to finalise the PRF’s Constitution and determine the host country.

“And that will give Pacific Resilience facilities legal entity and its legal standing through an Act of Parliament in one of the member states. And so the goal is to try and finalise all these governance issues by July.”
“Our goal is to mobilise US$250 million this year. We’re about halfway there,” he said.

The PRF, described as a Pacific-led, member-owned, climate and disaster preparedness community financing facility, aims to create a regional grant financing mechanism generating investment income for community resilience initiatives.

“Just by way of reminding people of the Pacific, the Pacific Resilience facility is to support grassroots resilience-building projects, which other partners like multilateral banks may not find appealing because these projects are small scale in nature. So looking at about $300,000 for projects that can support coastal communities, villages, whether they want to put up a seawall, for example, or a flood warning hazard system or cyclone shelter to protect them. So it’s a very niche area the PRF is looking at,” said Khan.

He said the vision of Forum Leaders is to make PRF the first regional financial institution for the Pacific.

“We want to make sure that it’s a success, and therefore high standards and best international practices are embedded in the PRF so we can get to that level,” Khan told journalists in Suva.

PRF is expected to be established this year and will be ready for business in 2025.