Samoa asks for simpler processes to access funding resources for SIDS

Samoa’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia with Maiava Iosefa Maiava of the UN Economic & Social Commission for Asia & Pacific

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2018: Samoa’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia is calling on funding agencies for simpler processes to access funding available for projects from SIDS members.

Ali’ioaiga made the call when addressing the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Interregional Preparatory Meeting for the Mid Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway- Interaction now in progress in Apia.

He said being a Board member of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), he realized the difficulties faced by many countries applying for funds.

“The point I put across to donor agencies is to differentiate the requirements of funds approved based on the amount and scale of the proposal,” said Ali’ioaiga.

For instance, he said a $10 million dollar proposal should have different requirements from a $50 million dollar one.

He said the proposals are for the development of country projects but if requirements are not met, the result could affect countries projects within their national Strategic Plans.

The meeting in progress at the TATTE Conference Centre

Localizing global frameworks
During the deliberations, references were made towards localizing global frameworks.

“I think part of the challenge for small island nations is that there are so many global frameworks, such as Disaster Risk programs, Paris Agreement and our own SAMOA Pathway and many other,” said Ali’ioaiga.

He said these agreements and conventions are only global frameworks. “It’s how we regionalize and localize them, and in our situation, it’s how we Samoanize all these global frameworks,” he explained.

“These global frameworks are captured in our (national) Strategic Plans, and I think it was no coincidence that the theme of the 3rd UN Conference was Partnerships because for us, whatever you have in your plans, you need to work with a partner,” said Ali’ioaiga.

He also said too often, SIDS members think of partners in terms of grant assistance, providing loans and capacity building assistance.

“Sometimes, these global frameworks can cause agitation because each one is trying to find solutions rather than using the framework as a guide to draw attention to some issues of importance,” said Ali’ioaiga.

“Localize it so that your community benefits from it and that is how they relate to all these global frameworks, but underpinning that is the importance of partnerships,” he said.

He said too often, SIDS members tend to look outside of themselves for solutions and yet there are a lot of solutions from within.

“Our message is that Samoa’s approach to all conventions and agreements is localizing them. Don’t just discuss but translate on the ground, so people will know the impact of what the Paris Agreement by increasing the resilience of community,” said Ali’ioaiga.