Nation’s First Direct Green Climate Fund Grant Awarded


A project aiming to build a healthy and resilient nation in the context of climate change and set to benefit more than 15,000 Cook Islanders, will start to be implemented in the coming months, thanks to an $12.5m USD Green Climate Fund Grant.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, who has been a strong advocate for the project, says this is a truly significant milestone, a momentous occasion for the nation and one that has been many years in the making after the idea was first mooted by former Cook Islands Health Minister Nandi Glassie and Health Secretary Elizabeth Iro in 2017. More recently Secretary Bob Williams, with the support of the Minister of Health Hon. Minister Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown has progressed the proposal, with a number of Government agencies providing invaluable support.

The 38th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) last night 5th March   in Kigali, Rwanda approved the nation’s first ever direct grant proposal.

In attendance at that meeting was Mani Mate (Director, Development Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management), Tessa Vaetoru (Development Programme Manager, Development Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management), Secretary of Health Bob Williams and Cook Islands Investment Corporation CEO Allan Jensen.

Many years of planning and scoping resulted in a funding proposal being put forward to implement the project/programme: AKAMATUTU’ANGA TO TATOU ORA’ANGA MEITAKI (ATOM) – Building a healthy and resilient Cook Islands community, one block at a time.

Secretary of Health Bob Williams says this is a nationally significant project which falls under Prime Minister Mark Brown’s advocacy to the GCF and other funding partners to make meaningful contributions towards financing the Cook Islands’ climate resilience.

The project is structured to establish an enabling environment for health in the climate change context in the Cook Islands, develop tailored interventions to address climate-sensitive health risks (CSHRs), and operationalise community-based climate/health adaptation measures, he says.

“An estimated 30 communities and 22 health facilities and emergency centres in 11 highly vulnerable outer island sites will be supported through the programme to improve the resilience of health services,” said Prime Minister Brown.

“Activities will directly benefit an estimated 15,040 people, of whom 7,648 are expected to be women. CSHRs will be incorporated into an enhanced health information system, indirectly benefiting the country’s entire population.

“A number of public servants and consultants have worked on this project and to them the nation says meitaki maata” he concluded.

The project will consist of three core components:

Component 1: Strengthening the capacity and capabilities of Te Marae Ora, partners, and stakeholders to integrate climate change considerations in their health operations.

Component 2: Building institutional capabilities to respond to climate change and health issues and effectively deliver health services to the population of the Cook Islands.

Component 3: Resilience building measures to reduce health impacts from climate change in communities.

The project’s Accredited Entity is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) and the project’s executing entities are Te Marae Ora – Cook Islands Ministry of Health (TMO) and Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC).

A large team contributed to this proposal being accepted including the Climate Change Office at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the national designated authority to the GCF which has also been active throughout the process.

Following the approval of the proposal from the GCF Board, the formal grant documentation was signed on behalf of the Cook Islands Government by Mani Mate as the Accredited Entity representative.

A separate funding Subsidiary Agreement was also signed between MFEM and CIIC. This will enable the funds to move from the Accredited Entity and Executing Entities – TMO and CIIC for this project. The formal disbursement documentation was also promptly completed in Kigali, with the first milestone disbursement expected to occur in the coming weeks, and project implementation starting shortly thereafter.

ENDS: Media enquiries to Jaewynn McKay, press secretary, +682 55486

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