Who will pay for the damage caused by climate change?
Every year Fiji deals with extreme events, ranging from powerful cyclones to prolonged droughts, says Satyendra Prasad, Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations. "One-tenth of our economy was wiped out by three events last year alone, when we were also fighting Covid-19. That is the difference between small and large states," says Prasad.
In 2021, Fiji launched a parametric insurance scheme, in partnership with United Nations agencies, that offers immediate payouts to poor women and other vulnerable communities after a disaster. This targeted finance helps them rebuild their lives following a catastrophe, says Prasad.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, a pilot project launched by the Start Network, a coalition of 50 aid agencies and nonprofits, aims to take early intervention a step further. The network is trying to prevent extreme weather from leading to hunger and poverty by spotting the signs of risk early and acting fast.
International support would also allow for more investment in Barbuda’s mangroves, coral reefs and beaches – all core ingredients of cultural life in Barbuda – and which act as critical barriers for storm surges, he adds. "If we do not maintain these, we do not maintain our culture and identity."