USAID looks at improving ecosystems and livelihood resilience for Ra communities in Fiji.

USAID Senior Development Advisor Michael Glees (center) with USAID Pacific American Fund Chief of Party Grace Kim (right) and WiFN Fiji Board Chair Cherie Morris (2nd from right) and local women Fishers in Ra

The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Pacific American Fund (PAF), 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 on Friday July 21, 2023, to celebrate the launch of WiFN Fiji’s “Collective Action for Improving Ecosystem and Livelihood Resilience for Fijian Communities in Ra” project.

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.

Mr. 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 encounter amplified difficulties in accessing resources and are more vulnerable to the economic, social, and health risks linked to environmental degradation and natural disasters,” he affirmed.

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

USAID Senior Development Advisor Michael Glees (center) hands over the Award Certificate to WiFN Fiji Board Chair Cherie Morris

WiFN Board Chair Cherie Morris expressed her gratitude to USAID PAF for supporting WiFN Fiji through the grant, enabling them to support local women fishers in the Ra communities, through trainings and capacity-building activities. “This project will look at developing local solutions to local challenges and build resilience against climate change”, she said.

WiFN Fiji will also look at improving fishery-based livelihoods through skill training and knowledge sharing as well as empowering women to make good decisions about caring for the environment and how to sustain their livelihoods, food security, well-being, and the well-being of their families.

WiFN Fiji joins 19 other organizations around the region supported by USAID Pacific American Fund, that are working to enhance climate change resilience and adaptation as well as improve the lives of Pacific Islanders.