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Pacific Islands: Pacific Resilience Program

June 24, 2015

Project Highlights
  • Supporting participating pacific island countries (PICs) through the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries;
  • Through co-financing, technical assistance in four areas will contribute to the overall objective of project’s first phase, with a focus on activities in Tonga; and
  • Providing critical support to scale-up and expand the pilot program under the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), in close partnership with the Government of Japan.

Project Overview

Supported by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP) will help strengthen disaster resilience, early warning and preparedness, and improve post-disaster response capacity of participating pacific island countries (PICs).

Participating PICs will be supported by Japan in four areas:

  • Strengthening early warning and preparedness;
  • Mainstreaming risk reduction and resilient investments;
  • Disaster risk financing; and
  • Program management.

As this project is a phased program, lessons learned from Phase I activities will inform the work for Phase II, which has the potential to expand to additional PICs.

The PICs lie in the midst of the world’s largest ocean and include some of the world’s smallest nations. There are three sub-regions: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Melanesia is the most populous and consists mainly of high islands, which generally have fertile soils. Micronesia and Polynesia, which consist mainly of reefs or atolls, are relatively small with predominantly infertile soils. Many PICs, for example Marshall Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, are dispersed over a large geographic area with small and remote populations. Economic growth is low; the small and scattered island “sea-locked” countries have small domestic markets and are characterized by low economic density as a result of high transportation and transaction costs. Although absolute poverty in the region is limited, real per capita income has remained virtually unchanged since the mid-1990s and economic progress tends to be volatile and vulnerable to external shocks. Most economies are largely reliant on remittances, fishing licenses, agriculture, some limited natural resources, tourism and foreign aid. Existing technical knowledge and financial capacity in PICs is insufficient in many cases to fully address climate and disaster risks.

The grant, under the framework of PREP and Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), will contribute to a highly strategic program of activities that consolidate resources from a number of sources such as IDA and the Climate Investment Fund, while also stimulating innovation and continued expansion of the flagship PCRAFI pilot program.

PREP constitutes an interdependent and overlapping series of projects for multiple beneficiaries who are facing a common set of development issues and share common development goals. The Program includes a combination of activities and investments at the country level such as a project in Tonga, but also in Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Marshall Islands, and activities at the regional level which are implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIF), which will benefit the region as a whole. Each of the country projects are self-standing.


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