Keynote Speech by JICA Vice President Muto on “Strengthening Climate Resilience” at IDB Group Partners Forum 2024


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Event: “Strengthening Climate Resilience,” held at IDB Group Partners Forum 2024
Date: April -18, 2024
Organizer: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Location: IDB Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Main Participants:

Keynote: Ms. Muto Megumi, Vice President and Chief Sustainable Officer, JICA
Moderator: Sergio Lacambra (CSD/RND Principal Specialist)
Juan Jose Durante (CMF Principal Specialist)
Carolina Freire (SCL/SPH Senior Specialist)
Malcolm Geere (FCDO Development Director, Caribbean)

Background and Purpose:

The IDB Partners Forum is a biannual event which serves as an effective platform for the IDB and its partners not only to share ongoing collaborations but also to discuss opportunities for new partnerships aimed at addressing the most pressing global challenges that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) face.

The session “Strengthening Climate Resilience” focused on the IDB and other partners’ work in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the LAC regions and discussed the importance for like-minded organizations such as JICA and the IDB to explore innovative, climate finance solutions in partnership with private finance institutions. JICA Vice President Megumi MUTO joined the session to make keynote speech.

Event highlights:

Vice President Muto highlighted Japan’s historical bonds of friendship with LAC countries and their shared similarities confronting natural disasters, including severe weather events, earthquakes and tsunamis. She emphasized the need to increase the resiliency of communities to all forms of natural disasters with the goal of reducing the impact of these events on economies and people’s livelihoods. She also discussed about the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and noted that the essence of this universally adopted framework encompasses 1) risk assessment 2) strengthening disaster risk governance 3) investing in disaster risk reduction, and 4) building back better (BBB), and emphasized the importance to cooperate with partners including private financial institutions.

Vice President Muto introduced JICA’s approach in the field of DRR, which focuses on, pre-disaster risk reduction and helping partner countries to strengthen overall governance, augment structural and non-structural measures, and promote BBB to accelerate DRR in the reconstruction process. She also discussed the provision of concessional sovereign finance for the construction of quality infrastructure associated with flood control systems and JICA’s coordinated roll out of Stand- by Loan—in partnership with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB)—to support macroeconomic stability in the Philippines.

As for examples for JICA’s DDR activities in LAC, Vice President Muto offered examples of capacity development for Structural Measures Against Sediment Related Disaster for Resilient Cities in Brazil and the provision of Stand- by Loans to El Salvador and Peru, which offer timely macro-economic support to these countries in the advent of natural disasters. Furthermore, she emphasized JICA’s strategic partnership with Chile for the provision of trilateral cooperation in the field of DRR (KIZUNA Program) .

Discussing the way forward for the strategic partnership between JICA, IDB and other partners on DRR, Vice President Muto challenged JICA and the IDB to actively envision opportunities for enhanced collaboration in areas such as capacity building programs, macro stability support to LAC countries in the face of natural disasters, and quality infrastructure financing for DRR. She also called on to explore innovative climate finance solutions in partnership with private financiers.

During the panel discussion, IDB presented their DRM Action Plan 2024-2025 and their innovative Climate and Disaster Risk Finance (CDRF) and risk transfer instruments to help member countries mitigate the impacts of climate change. In conclusion, they confirmed the importance for like-minded development partners, entrepreneurs and private financial institutions to strengthen cooperation, and to explore innovative solution towards strengthening climate resilience.