Palau, with its mixture of low-lying atolls and high volcanic islands, and its vibrant tourism industry (160 000 arrivals in 2015 mainly from Asia) declared a State of Emergency due to the El Niño drought on 23rd March 2016. At that time it was reported that that tap water in Koror and Babeldaob was rationed to three hours a day. Total rainfall in Koror, the most populated state of Palau, for the first four months of 2016 was reported to be the lowest on record since 1951. Besides the economic impact on the tourist industry, all 21,000 residents of Palau are impacted by the drought and especially in the remote outer islands where the 3-4% of the population depend entirely on rainwater and the impacts on subsistence agriculture, health and nutrition are most severe. Furthermore the ongoing drought comes on top of the impacts of Typhoon Haiyan (2012) and Typhoon Bopha (2013), both of which were extremely severe events and impacted Palau.
Through this programme, the country will be supported through a series of activities focused around enhancing drought readiness and specifically:
Total Cost (EUR): 1 125 000
EU contracted amount (EUR): 1 125 000
Duration: July 2017 - July 2020
Implementing organisation: Pacific Community (SPC)
Funding Instrument: European Development Fund (EDF)
Benefitting zone: PW - Palau