23 October 2019
The World Bank’s Pacific Resilience Program in the context of help for the Solomon Islands.
It is days like today, when the temperature at midday is already over 36 c and humid in Bangkok, and quite possibly hotter outside than it was this time last year that I think of the consequences of global warming and the ongoing impact it is having in the Pacific, especially in the Solomon Islands.
My concern over global warming was heightened all the more today when I read the news from Radio New Zealand saying the World Bank will be funding a new seawall in the Marshall Islands, estimating to cost $US29 million.
The news broadcast said the finance deal was part of the ‘Pacific Resilience Program’, and I presumed a project of the World Bank.
Doing some ‘Googling’ I learned PPR was aimed atstrengthen early warning, resilient investments and preparedness objectives to increase the resilience of the “participating phase one countries” and the Pacific region as a whole to natural hazards such as cyclones, coastal and riverine flooding, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis,
Samoa and Tonga appear to have already been helped by the World Bank’s PPR and now the Marshall Islands is said to benefit.
A Climate Vulnerability Assessment Plan for Fiji, which waswhich was prepared in partnership with the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and launched at COP 23 outlined the impact of climate change on Fiji’s economy, livelihoods and poverty levels, health and food security together with key industries including agriculture and tourism, as well as potential impacts of sea level rise on coastal areas and low lying islands.
The World Bank later released a report saying new projects would cost $4.5 billion to reduce Fiji’s vulnerability to climate change over ten years.
I know the World Bank has help fund the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program but I have not found evidence of PPR help to the Solomon Islands like has occurred in Samoa and Tonga.
As a matter of fact, the World Risk Index 2019 ranks five Pacific Island countries among the top 20 most at-risk countries in the world, including Vanuatu and Tonga, which are ranked first and third respectively.
As I am sure the Solomon Islands must be one the other 3 countries at risk from climate change (and six small offshore islands have already disappeared and outer Reef Islands are continuing to lose land due to sea rise and salt water penetration), what does the SIG government and the World Bank have in mind in terms of PPR help?