The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved USD 23 million in funding for enhancing adaptation and community resilience by improving water security in Vanuatu. This five-year project, developed with the support of the Pacific Community (SPC) and UNICEF, will climate-proof water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and improve water management planning systems. More than 215,000 people, mainly in rural areas, will benefit from this programme.
The Pacific region has one of the lowest levels of access to water security and sanitation services globally, with disasters and climate change exacerbating the risk communities face in accessing safe drinking water and sanitation services.
Vanuatu is recognised as one of the most vulnerable countries globally to disaster (World Risk Index 2021) and the impacts of climate change. This reality threatens water resources across the country as sea-level rise may undermine freshwater sources in low-lying areas of Vanuatu, affecting drinking water quality. At the same time, climate-induced disasters are likely to cause damage to critical WASH infrastructure.
The Enhancing Adaptation and Community Resilience by Improving Water Security in Vanuatu project will climate-proof water management systems to protect fragile freshwater resources. It will also ensure infrastructure is built to withstand the predicted impacts of climate- and disaster-related events for future generations.
It aims to address water-related impacts of climate change by empowering rural communities to plan and manage climate-resilient water resources, enhancing climate-resilient rural water infrastructure, and strengthening provincial and national institutions to address climate risks associated with water security.
The project is led by the Vanuatu Government in partnership with SPC, the Pacific region’s lead scientific and technical agency, and will be supported by key partners such as UNICEF to drive effective delivery for the 215,000 people who will benefit from the work.
“The Vanuatu Water Security project is the second large-scale Green Climate Fund project to be approved by the board of GCF in 2022; the first one being the 3.3 billion vatu worth Vanuatu Community-based Climate Resilience Project (VCCRP) approved in August 2022 followed by this VT2.6 billion worth Vanuatu Water Security Project approved in October 2022, which makes a total of 5.9 billion vatu grant approved by Green Climate fund board for Vanuatu in 2022.” explains Esline Garaebiti, Director-General of the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management and Vanuatu’s National Designated Authority to GCF.
According to Erickson Sammy, Director of Vanuatu’s Department of Water Resources: “Vanuatu communities are very much in need for access to sufficient and safe water, especially in the rural communities. It is therefore an obligation of the Department of Water Resources to ensure all population of Vanuatu have access to safe and secure water supply.”
Scaling access to systematic, large-scale climate finance opportunities for countries such as Vanuatu is core to SPC’s work and is a critical action that must be accelerated rapidly to support genuine solutions that protect communities on the frontline of climate change.
“Unlocking climate finance is a cornerstone of SPC’s work to promote livelihoods, build resilience, and enhance disaster risk reduction in Pacific communities. We are thankful for this second project to be approved by the GCF in the past twelve months. However, we must rapidly increase access to climate finance for Pacific countries to ensure the region is best placed to face the brunt of climate change and the realities already being felt on the ground.” said Director-General Dr Stuart Minchin, SPC.
Maëva Tesan, Information, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Pacific Community (SPC), Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Programme | maevatspc.int
David Wardell, Senior Communications Officer (Acting), Pacific Community (SPC), Corporate Communications Office | davidwspc.int
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About SPC’s Climate Finance Unit:
The Climate Finance Unit within the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability programme supports SPC’s member countries to access, design, manage and implement climate change projects with the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund and other climate finance mechanisms. https://www.spc.int/CCES/CFU