Fiji’s Statement: World Humanitarian Summit Roundtable

High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable: Natural Disasters & Climate Change: Managing Risks and Crises Differently

24 May 2016 (9:00 am to 11:00 am) Beyazit Hall, B-2 Floor, ICC, Istanbul, Turkey
Hon. Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji
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Fiji is giving enthusiastic support to the Vulnerable 20’s Global Preparedness Partnership, given our recent experience dealing with a severe natural disaster in the form of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
We had been satisfied with our own preparedness and response to the previous event – Cyclone Evan at the end of 2012 – in which no Fijian lives were lost despite the widespread destruction it caused to homes and infrastructure. But we are the first to acknowledge that Cyclone Winston three months ago stretched our resources to breaking point. And while the effectiveness of Fiji’s overall response has been praised by our development partners, we realise that we need to do a lot better next time. And we need the support of the global community through this initiative to do so.
Winston’s crushing strength – a Category 5 event with winds of more than 300 kilometres an hour – made it the most powerful cyclone ever to make landfall in the southern hemisphere. Despite our best efforts, 44 Fijians were killed, 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, along with public buildings and infrastructure. And it has left us with a damage bill of 1.4 billion US dollars that will take many years to repair.
We were extremely fortunate to have our own relief effort reinforced so quickly and effectively by our friends in the region and the rest of the world. And especially the hundreds of military personnel from Australia, New Zealand, France and Tonga – backed up by warships and aircraft – who were able to assist Fijian relief workers cope with the vast challenge Winston presented.
We are extremely grateful to these nations and others – notably India, China, Korea and the UAE – that undertook airlifts of relief supplies or gave donations in cash or in kind. But the scale of this disaster has been a sobering lesson to us all of the inadequacy of our current preparedness and the acute need to upgrade our response to future events.
Fiji is now going to the world appealing for access to the finance we need to rebuild our homes and infrastructure to a much higher standard to  withstand such events. And we are revaluating our disaster preparedness for a new era in which the scientists tell us that we can expect stronger and more frequent cyclones because of climate change.
Fiji urges the community of nations to embrace the V20’s Global Preparedness Partnership to provide the funding we need to prepare for future disasters. The world must set aside enough resources to deal with the new frightening new era that is dawning on small and vulnerable nations because of extreme weather events and rising sea levels. And I am here to testify that if any example is required of the urgent need to implement this initiative, Fiji’s experience with Winston is it.
Photo Caption: The High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable on “Managing Risks and Crises Differently.” Photo Credit: World Humanitarian Summit via Flickr. Photo Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0

Joint V20-CVF Statement: World Humanitarian Summit Roundtable

High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable: Natural Disasters & Climate Change: Managing Risks and Crises Differently

24 May 2016 (9:00 am to 11:00 am) Beyazit Hall, B-2 Floor, ICC, Istanbul, Turkey
Hon. Roberto B. Tan, Treasurer of the Philippines, Department of Finance, Republic of the Philippines
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 Part 1: Country Statement
Mr. President, Excellencies, Honourable Colleagues and Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning!
This year, the rise in the global temperature marks the hottest ever recorded, prompting scientists to declare a climate emergency.
This climate phenomenon exposes humanity, particularly the most vulnerable, to increasing risks caused by weather-related extreme events and sea level rise.
To face the new normal, we acknowledge the need to further act to protect our people and our future.
Under Core Commitment 2, the Philippines is keen on working towards enhancing financial and social protection and further implementing our disaster risk financing and insurance strategy at various levels.
Using our budget, we will further prioritize investments on resiliency and adaptation, including building more resilient structures and using our natural systems. We will also improve the strategic use of our national and local funds on preparedness and prevention.
In sync with our public finance reforms, we will develop or strengthen policies to achieve better planning, including on procurement, and update our DRRM law.
We will continue to improve efforts in DRR such as the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA).
We will build on our experience in tracking our expenditures on climate action. Upholding good governance, the Philippines will continue to improve the accounting of disaster aid and enhance our coordination mechanisms to request and accept international assistance [through the guidelines for the Philippine International Humanitarian Assistance Center (PIHAC)].
Under Core Commitment 5, the Philippines will continue to participate in global platforms to develop common humanitarian civil-military coordination standards by taking a lead role in the UN Civil Military Cooperation.
The Philippines will uphold its commitment as a signatory to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in coordinating humanitarian assistance in the region.
We will remain committed to support and actively engage in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Part 2: Joint V20–CVF Statement at the World Humanitarian Summit
Mr. President, the Philippines chairs the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers (the V20) and its associated initiative, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, representing 1 billion people highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
We are highlighting at this Summit that dealing with climate change is now indispensable to dealing with humanitarian crises.
The landmark Paris Agreement and its goal of pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius must be fully implemented if we are to have hope of containing such escalating risks and their humanitarian repercussions.
Even limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, however, would still lead to approximately a doubling of effects. This is why climate finance flows to help communities adapt is as critical as funds for emission controls.
Achieving this balance by 2020 is not only a major humanitarian priority that will save lives. It also makes financial sense.
Consider that 56 billion dollars have been spent on humanitarian response by international donors in the 43 V20 countries between 1991 and 2010. This equates to 31.7% of total international humanitarian financing, which was $176.8 billion. However, in this same period only $13.5 billion was spent by the international community worldwide on Disaster Risk Reduction and preparedness. Where is the logic?
We are convinced that investing in preparedness is a no regret, cost effective investment for everyone. That is why the V20 is spearheading the launch of a major new initiative: the Global Preparedness Partnership. With the support of the international community, we can put a different, anticipatory and more cost-efficient formula into action.
We urge you to join forces in the Global Preparedness Partnership so that the most at-risk countries can achieve a minimum level of readiness to future shocks.
Part 3: Closing
Mr. President, we have put forward today what the Philippines is willing to invest in for the future of humanity. Our group of 43 countries resonates the call to action and will count on partners to work with us on tangible investments such as on preparedness.
Thank you, Mr. President.

New Global Partnership for Preparedness Launched: V20, UN and World Bank Collaboration to help countries get ready for future disasters

 New Global Partnership for Preparedness Launched: V20, UN and World Bank Collaboration to help countries get ready for future disasters

Download the Press Release (English, Pdf, 0.4mb)
PRESS RELEASE
Istanbul, Turkey – Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – A major new partnership to better prepare countries and communities for disasters is being launched today at the World Humanitarian Summit as a united response to a continuing rise in humanitarian emergencies.
The new global partnership for preparedness (GPP) is led by the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum which represents 43 high risk developing nations in collaboration with UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The partnership will strengthen preparedness capacities initially in 20 countries, so they attain a minimum level of readiness by 2020 for future disaster risks mainly caused by climate change.
Roberto B. Tan, Treasurer of the Philippines, representing the chair of the V20, says that the goal of the partnership with the international community is to make sure that when disasters strike, the mechanisms and support are in place so people can get back on their feet as soon as possible, therefore minimizing the impact on development gains and preventing uncontrolled humanitarian crises. “We know investment in preparedness saves lives and dollars and thus makes financial and economic sense. If we plan ahead, we will create a situation where instead of wave after wave of climate-driven natural disasters destroying what gains communities have made, they can pick up their lives again as soon as possible. Crises such as those from natural disasters and effects of climate change should no longer spin out of control,” Treasurer Tan says.
United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark says: “This partnership will help countries to reach an adequate level of preparedness for disasters and other shocks. The aim is to save lives, safeguard development gains, and reduce the economic impacts of crises. Importantly, this also safeguards development gains, which can otherwise be lost with each disaster, she said. “This new partnership puts at-risk countries in the driver’s seat and brings together the work of development and humanitarian actors in a coherent way.”
Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator states: “Extreme weather and other shocks shouldn’t become major humanitarian disasters if we better anticipate and plan for them ahead, and reinforce local response capacity. The global preparedness partnership led by countries most at risk of climate change through the V20 provides a key opportunity to make this happen”.
Laura Tuck, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank adds: “At the initiative of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of countries, we are joining UN agencies to support a global preparedness partnership to help build strong national and local institutions and ensure that planning and financing for preparedness are integral parts of countries’ disaster management frameworks.”
“The world’s population that depends on farming, livestock, fishing and forests for their food and livelihoods, are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, whether provoked by extreme events such as storms, droughts, floods or earthquakes. Farming remains a key economic activity for millions of people across the developing world and the bedrock of food security,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. “This new effort will help build up the resilience of rural communities and boost national capacities to prepare for problems and respond effectively to disasters when they occur,” he added.
“As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, there is a need to shift from a focus on crisis response to taking anticipatory actions to manage risks. The global preparedness partnership recognizes that predictable finance and strengthened government capacity are essential for saving lives and reducing the cost of responding to disasters”, concludes Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. 
 The partnership will become operational later this year and seeks to provide the initial 20 countries with support to achieve:
  • better access to risk analysis and early warning;
  • contingency plans with clear lines of responsibility, triggers for action, and pre-committed finance;
  • developing social protection, basic services and delivery systems capable of responding to shocks.
Photo Caption: The V20 Chair (Philippines) and Nepal standing together with UNDP and the World Bank for global preparedness

 

Groundbreaking New Preparedness Partnership Launch

Global Preparedness Partnership to be Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit

24 May 2016, Istanbul
A groundbreaking new partnership to better prepare countries and communities for disasters will be launched today at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
The new global partnership for preparedness will be led by the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum which represents 43 high risk developing nations in collaboration with key UN agencies including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the World Bank.
The partnership, which will focus on strengthening preparedness capacities, will be launched at the Natural Disasters and Climate Change – Managing Risks and Crises Differently High Level Roundtable on Tuesday at 9am EEST. The Climate Vulnerable Forum @TheCVF will be live tweeting throughout the Roundtable. You can also watch a webcast here.
Photo Credit: World Humanitarian Summit Photo Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0