The U.S government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Pacific American Fund, has awarded US$157,000 to the Women in Fisheries Network (WiFN) Fiji.

USAID Senior Development Advisor Michael Glees joined the Namuaimada community in Ra to celebrate the launch of WiFN Fiji’s project, “Collective Action for Improving Ecosystem and Livelihood Resilience for Fijian Communities in Ra.” 

The project will promote gender equality and social inclusivity in various aspects, such as enhancing the safeguarding of vulnerable marine ecosystems, promoting effective environmental planning, and strengthening disaster preparedness and responsiveness measures in target communities in Ra.

 Glees stated that women, who frequently bear the primary responsibility for securing water, food, and fuel, are disproportionately impacted by the consequences of climate change. “Women face increased challenges in accessing resources and are more susceptible to the economic, social, and health risks associated with environmental degradation and natural disasters,” he affirmed.

“This is why the U.S government is proud to support Women in Fisheries Network Fiji with an award of US$157,000 to work with target communities, especially fisherwomen, on ways to sustain livelihoods and food security, and become more resilient to climate change,” Glees added.

The project will also look at improving fishery-based livelihoods through skills training and knowledge sharing as well as empowering women to make good decisions about caring for the environment and how to sustain their livelihood and food security.

WiFN Fiji joins 19 other organizations around the region supported by USAID’s Pacific American Fund that are working to enhance climate change resilience and adaptation as well as improve the lives of Pacific Islanders. The U.S Agency for International Development’s Pacific American Fund is a five-year grant facility that addresses critical development challenges across 12 Pacific Island Countries, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The goal of PAF is to improve the quality of life in vulnerable communities and to improve access to essential services across the region.

This story was originally published at US Emabassy Fiji on 25 July 2023, reposted via PACNEWS.

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