World Bank to help Solomon Islands mitigate climate change risks

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Rural communities in Solomon Islands are to receive help in mitigating and managing the risks of natural hazards and climate change.

The World Bank has launched a new $9.1 million (£5.4m) project, which aims to integrate climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction in government policies and operations. It will also help strengthen climate and disaster risk information and early warning systems and direct community investments in climate change adaption.

Solomon Islands is situated on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ and is among 20 countries with the “highest economic risk exposure to geological, hydrological and climatic hazards”, including volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, landslides, floods and droughts, the World Bank said.

Statistics suggest the nation could lose $20 million (£11.9m) a year – equivalent to 3% of GDP – due to natural hazards and climate change.

Around 79,000 people are expected to benefit from the Community Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risks in Solomon Islands Project (CRISP) over its five-year implementation period.

Denis Jordy, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project said: “Solomon Islands has had seven major disasters in the last 30 years, including the 2007 8.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami which claimed more than 50 lives and the Santa Cruz earthquake and resulting tsunami in February 2013.

“Through the CRISP, Solomon Islanders living in communities that are exposed to natural hazards and climate change impacts are better prepared to avoid and manage the impact of those risks.”

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