[Radio Australia] USAID Launches Pacific-Focused Climate Change Projects

Agency’s Pacific mission to provide funds for 5 years


MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 12, 2013) – The United States government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a series of climate change projects in the Pacific.

USAID has been preparing projects on the ground in twelve countries over the last year, with the aim of complementing existing aid programs backed by Australia, New Zealand and others.

USAID’s mission director for the Pacific Islands, Gloria Steele, said as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP), USAID will work with coastal communities in a range of areas.

“To help identify mostly small infrastructure that would need assistance to make them more climate resilient, and working in disaster preparation, prevention and response,” she told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“Finally working with the policy-makers, who make sure that policies incorporate measures that will make communities be more climate-resistant.”

Ms. Steele said all of the projects will be done in partnership with the communities, NGOs and the private sector.

“We realize that climate change is a major issue and so we have been providing significant funding in this area all over the world,” she said.

She said the projects will be supported by USAID for five years, with reviews at the halfway point.

“We review midpoint to see whether there is continuing need for assistance or for the program, whether changes need to be made or whether we have accomplished what we need to accomplish.”

“So it’s difficult to tell at this point what’s going to happen beyond the five years that we have planned.”

Ms. Steele said CCAP is working in twelve countries, although not all of the projects are run in all of the twelve countries.

“For instance the mango project right now is focused only on Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” she said.

But she said USAID hopes that most of the projects will cover Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Micronesia.

Ms. Steele said USAID hopes to add more countries to the program in the future.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
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