UNDP-Russia partnership launches disaster resilience project

The Government of the Russian Federation in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji yesterday launched the Regional Disaster Resilience in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) Project in Nadi,

Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of International Organisations Deputy Director, Mr. Dmitry Maksimychev said, “The Project is an important part of our effort to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, the SIDS Agenda and also the Russian Government’s agenda to strengthen our relations with Asia and Pacific countries.

“So far this regional initiative is the single largest project funded by the Russian Federation as part of Russia-UNDP Trust Fund and therefore, we will spare no effort to make it a success. We expect, through the RESPAC Project, to be effective and make a real difference in the improvement of the level of resilience of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States.”

The project and its activities align with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Samoa Pathway, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2015-2030.

The project will support 14 countries that include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and the territory of Tokelau.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Regional Policy and Programme, Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov said, “The Pacific Small Island Developing States are among the most threatened by natural hazards such as cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts and floods, many of which are climate related.”

“The US$7.5m project will in the next three years support countries in strengthening early warning systems and climate monitoring capacity, enhance preparedness and planning mechanisms and tools to manage disaster recovery processes, and increase the use of financial instruments to manage and share disaster related risk and fund post disaster recovery efforts,” he said.

The project also held its inaugural board meeting at the launch to discuss collaborative approaches to implementation and way forward with country representatives and partners. The project is expected to complete its implementation by 2019.