Tuvalu encourages donors to channel funding assistance through the Ministry of Finance

By Puaseiese Pedro of Tuvalu Broadcasting Corporation.

26 June 2019, Sigatoka, Fiji – Every Tuvaluan that sits in or attends regional or international conferences is encouraged to point out to donors that funding assistance must go through the Tuvalu’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

This was strongly emphasised by Ms Silati Tofuola Filiake, the representative from the Planning, Budget and Aid Coordination Unit within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of the Tuvalu government at the Regional Climate and Disaster Risk Finance Forum currently underway in Sigatoka, Fiji. Ms. Filiake was one of the panellists sharing experiences in accessing and managing various modalities for climate change and disaster risk finance today.

A Tuvalu Development Fund (TDF) looked after by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is where all Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) goes to, according to Ms. Filiake

In the past five years, Tuvalu through this Fund, received $45 million dollars from donors to fund climate change and other related projects, however, not all Ministries are aware of the processes and procedures of TDF.

“The challenges of the TDF include the lack of awareness, which results in a lot of Ministries being unaware of the processes and procedures,” said Ms. Filiake.

A Technical Assistant has been recruited by Climate Finance Readiness in the Pacific (CFRP) project to work on this for Tuvalu, which has allowed the country to strengthen its compliance rules. Tuvalu now has a system of having a proper closure of projects and if there are funds available, Ministries are obliged to attach a checklist together with the source document, get it screened by the Ministry of Finance before issuing the warrant to access and spend the money.

“This is a very centralised system which is transparent and has gained the trust and confidence of donors because there is a development fund account on its own where all donor monies go,” said Ms Filiake.

Project Manager for the Institutional Strengthening for Pacific Island countries to Adapt to Climate Change (ISACC) Project, Ms Vuki Buadromo, said, “I believe the role of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the ISACC Project in relation to climate finance in particular the Tuvalu Development Fund, that we think could add value in terms of the work we do would be through the capacity building initiatives that we are supporting.

“Monitoring and evaluation is an important tool that can be utilised to track how the funds translate into action on the ground but also how that action needs to impact an outcome whether or not its related to Tuvalu’s national development priorities.”

Ms. Buadromo added that one of the initiatives ISACC is planning with the Climate Change Team in Tuvalu is the rolling out of training on Monitoring and Evaluation with practitioners on the ground, either Government or Non-Governmental organization who are already managing climate change related projects.

“It is also an opportunity for the practitioners to monitor and evaluate how the activities they are doing contribute to the broader objective of the fund,” added Ms. Buadromo.

Ms. Filiake requested that donors who are dealing directly with Ministries or any other bodies in Tuvalu include or update the Ministry of Finance about their negotiations, reporting and bilateral discussions so to have a better coordination of development assistance, thus enhancing the capturing of assistance coming into Tuvalu.

Puaseiese Pedro’s attendance at the Regional Climate and Disaster Risk Finance meetings was facilitated by Pacific iCLIM: Supporting the Regional Management of Climate Change Information in the Pacific and the Institutional Strengthening for Pacific island countries to Adapt to Climate Change (ISACC) projects. The Regional Climate and Disaster Risk Finance meetings and media training held from 25 – 27 June 2019 in Sigatoka, Fiji is supported by the SPC, PIFS, SPREP, GIZ, USAID and Australian Department for Foreign Affairs & Trade.