Earlier this month, Palau’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Caleb Otto informed Minister of State, Billy Kuartei of the great news from New York and delivered special message from Italy’s Ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Sebastian Cardi. [restrict]

Ambassador Cardi informed Minister Kuartei that Palau will receive an $800,000 grant from the government of Italy.  The grant is based on Palau’s submitted proposal, entitled, “Increasing Palau’s resilience to extreme drought events: Taking action for long-term adaptation to the impacts of climate change”.  This project stems from Palau’s appeal for assistance made earlier this year in the face of one of the most severe droughts ever recorded in Palau’s history. The drought was a result of the El Nino phenomenon, exacerbated by climate change.

On December 8, 2016, during the meeting in New York of the Partnership between the Governments of the Small Islands Developing States and of Italy, Austria, Luxemburg, and Spain, Palau’s proposal was approved.  The financial resources to support the proposal will be provided by the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea of Italy.

To move forward with the project, a technical team in Rome is already working on the details of the proposal and operations should begin in the first quarter of 2017.

In his letter, Ambassador Cardi stated that the Government of Italy “is very proud to be able to contribute to the assistance of the people and the government of Palau to building resilience to extreme events and adapt to the already irreversible changes brought by climate change.”

In reacting to the announcement of the award, Minister Kuartei responded, “Palau is extremely grateful to the Government of Italy for this award, as it will help the country prepare for future drought events that might become more common in the future because of climate change. The awarding of this grant is a demonstration of our growing cooperation with the Government of Italy.  Last year, Italy contributed $300,000 to support the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. We thank the Government of Italy for their support and partnership with Palau.” [restrict]