Climate finance for disaster preparedness in Samoa
The Pacific is one of the most natural disaster-prone regions on earth. Given its geographic location and physical environment, Samoa is highly vulnerable to natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes. As the effects of climate change continue to unfold, vulnerability to natural disasters is likely to increase further.
Given predictions of fewer, but more intense, storms in the Pacific Region for the coming years, Caritas Samoa has identified the need for preparedness that creates resilient communities across the country. Therefore, Caritas Samoa has created the Promoting Resilience through Essentials Pre-positioned for Samoa (PREPS) project in partnership with Catholic Relief Services. The $500,000 project financed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance has a timeline of 24 months with the goal that vulnerable populations in Samoa affected by disaster are able to meet their immediate, essential needs, and live with dignity.
Disaster risk reduction is defined by the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) as “the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.”
The PREPS project strengthens disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels through the pre-positioning of emergency relief supplies at six locations in Samoa. This involves building three warehouses to store emergency relief supplies; relocating three currently fully stocked containers; purchasing emergency relief items to supply 990 households (over 6,930 people); and training warehouse managers, community volunteers, and local leadership to maintain and distribute supplies when needed. In total, this project will benefit 10,688 direct beneficiaries.