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By Giles Dexter, RNZ News political reporter

New Zealand will provide $15 million to support Samoa with its climate change priorities.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement in Apia today at a joint press conference with Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

“This funding will help build Samoa’s resilience to the impacts of climate change and its transition to a low emissions economy,” Ardern said.

New Zealand will work with the Samoan government to determine where the funding will go — governance arrangements and opportunities for future investments.

The government is also pledging $12 million to rebuild Apia’s Savalalo Market, a historic market which was destroyed by a fire in 2016.

“The market was renowned as a hub for local crafts and food, run primarily by women small business owners. It is at the heart of Apia’s community and economic life, as well as formerly being a major tourist attraction,” Ardern said.

“We are proud to support the government of Samoa re-establish it.”

Rebuilding the partnership
The request for the money came from Samoa’s government, which will fund the rebuild in partnership with New Zealand. Both Ardern and Fiame have indentified climate change as a key joint issue.

Jacinda Ardern is in Samoa to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa.

Following an ‘ava ceremony and reception on Monday, she attended a flag raising and guard of honour inspection today.

She said at the bilateral a number of issues were discussed in addition to climate change, such as economic resilience, and covid-19.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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