ODO TEVI (Vanuatu) said that climate change is the “defining existential challenge of our time” and has set back decades of development progress. “While our countries are the smallest contributors to global climate change, we find ourselves on the front lines of the crisis,” he added. Earlier in 2023, two cyclones hit Vanuatu with the total recovery needs estimated at 77 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Vanuatu’s experience with cascading natural hazards has urged the need to incorporate disaster risk reduction in its development plans. COVID‑19 has also placed considerable pressure on the country’s economy. The tourism industry was hit hard. Strengthening regional and international cooperation and coordination at the highest levels will help prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics and other emergencies. Moreover, all financial sources must contribute towards significant, rapid and exponential scaling up of investments towards the Sustainable Development Goals. “The reform of the international financial architecture to respond to the global challenges is therefore very crucial,” he added.
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