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Managing and mitigating disaster risks in Tuvalu

Photo of Kate Morioka with Director Pepetua Latasi.
Kate Morioka with Director Pepetua Latasi. Credit: Kate Morioka.

Enhancing the capacity of authorities and island governments to identify, manage and mitigate disaster risks, such as coastal floods and cyclones, is a key area of development for the Government of Tuvalu. Australia is working with the government to build Tuvalu's capacity in these areas, and to help the island state access global climate finance.

The Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism Phase 2 (PACTAM2) is an Australian Government initiative that places highly skilled technical advisers in partner organisations across 12 Pacific Island countries. In Tuvalu, Kate Morioka, was assigned to the Department of Climate Change and Disaster in the Office of the Prime Minister in 2016.

When Kate first arrived, Tuvalu was still recovering from Cyclone Pam, one of the worst tropical cyclones to ever hit the Pacific. She immediately helped improve accountability and transparency in the government's management of public and donor funds for relief and recovery through reporting of expenditure. She also followed up on donor-funded recovery projects, ensuring that core services like health and education were up and running.

Over the course of the next three years Kate helped secure financial and technical assistance for climate change and disaster risk management within the Tuvalu Government of $1 million; established regular quarterly meetings of the National Disaster Committee; and provided guidance on the operationalization of the Tuvalu Climate Change and Disaster Survival Fund, which grew from $5 million in 2016 to $9.1 million in 2018.

Kate also worked at the community level, conducting evacuation training and drills, and developing emergency evacuation plans for schools in Vaitupu and Funafuti.

For more information or assistance from the Support Unit contact: helpdesk@apclimatepartnership.com.au.

Photo of house surrounded by raising flood waters.
Tuvalu is experiencing more frequent coastal floods and cyclones. Credit: Tuvalu Climate Change Unit, Ministry of Finance.

Last Updated: 15 October 2019
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