Marshall Islands President Dr Hilda Heine has announced a US$29 million funding partnership with the World Bank to design and build a new seawall on Ebeye in the RMI, in a major boost in the fight against climate change.

President Heine said even more funding could be allocated to this “very important project” depending on the results of ongoing studies into the design of the new seawall.

“This project highlights the expanding partnership between the World Bank and the Republic of Marshall Islands, and means we will be in a better position to deal with the impacts of climate change,” President Heine said.

“The impact of climate change is already causing real harm to people, communities and the environment right across our planet.

“My country is extremely threatened right now – it’s the place that myself and the government is doing everything we can to protect.”

President Heine said the seawall funding was allocated under the second phase of the Pacific Resilience Project.

“The objective of this project is to strengthen early warning systems, climate resilient investments in shoreline protection, and to provide immediate and effective response to an eligible crisis or emergency,” she said.

“Some of the expected outcomes will be timely and actionable hazard forecast and warning messages, and communities being involved in planning and implementation of early warning and shoreline protection activities.”

Minister for Finance, Banking and Postal Services Brenson Wase said it was expected to take more than a year to finalise the design process for the new seawall, with construction then expected to take between one and two years.

Minister Wase said the US$29 million seawall allocation was separate from the U$S1 million in funding announced by the government earlier this year for a seawall project on Ebeye.

He said the US$1million allocation for Ebeye was one of 78 new seawall projects to be funded by the RMI Government under the national budgets for FY2019 and FY2020.

“That allocation in Ebeye will be principally targeting lagoon-side seawalls, while the Pacific Resilience Project will be targeting the ocean side.

“This government remains focused on addressing the negative impact of climate change to the Marshall Islands, both now and into the future,” he said.

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