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SIDS4: Seychelles' finance minister urges global lenders to give affordable financing to small island states

Victoria, Seychelles | May 31, 2024, Friday @ 15:57 in National » GENERAL | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3221
SIDS4: Seychelles' finance minister urges global lenders to give affordable financing to small island states

Hassan (1st left) is part of the Seychelles presidential delegation at SIDS4. (State House)

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Seychelles is not asking for free funding but access to affordable financing said Naadir Hassan, the Minister for Finance, National Planning and Trade in an interview on the margins of the Fourth International Conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS4).

Hassan, who is part of the Seychelles presidential delegation at SIDS4, made the statement in an interview with SNA journalist Alisa Uzice who is covering the event in Antigua and Barbuda.

The minister said that one of the key focuses of the conference is the debt crisis and access to financing for small island developing states. The issue for Seychelles is that it is considered a high-income country, so its interest rates are higher.

"Are there solutions? Yes, the solutions are there, it's just that the international financial institutions have to accept that because we are vulnerable, the small island developing states need access to affordable financing irrespective of their income status. This will help us put in place measures that would help mitigate the effects of climate change," he highlighted. 

Hassan added that the monumental challenge that SIDS are facing is the cost of taking necessary measures  and "the projection we have done shows that over the next 10 years, it will cost Seychelles around $600 million to set up climate mitigation and adaptation measures."

He reiterated Seychelles' position during the conference especially highlighting the importance of considering the vulnerability of SIDS and said so far, he's seen a positive change in this direction.

"I believe that it is important for Seychelles to participate in these summits and we will continue to put forward the position of Seychelles at these events. It's a fight that has been going on for many years, but we've seen that there is traction to accept the vulnerability of SIDS and we need to continue to put this forward. We believe that in the near future we will achieve our objective of getting access to affordable financing and we will need this financing to face the challenges coming our way," said the minister.

Seychelles, is an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and according to the World Bank Climate Change knowledge portal, the island nation faces similar problem to those threatening other SIDS.

These are changes in rainfall patterns leading to flooding, landslides extended periods of drought, increases in sea temperature, changes in acidity and damage to marine ecosystems, increases in storms and storm surges, and sea level rise in the long term.

The World Bank portal added that a recent United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) report has revealed that most disasters occurring in Seychelles were related to storms, floods, rain and landslides. The report recommended that future planning should focus on losses from flooding and landslides, which also caused the greatest economic losses.

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Tags: Fourth International Conference for Small Island Developing States, SIDS4, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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