India pledges USD 2.5 mln aid for small Commonwealth nations

 India today announced USD 2.5 million in aid for the small states in the Commonwealth to help them combat climate change.

Valletta: India today announced USD 2.5 million in aid for the small states in the Commonwealth to help them combat climate change.

"India has announced 2.5 million dollars for the Commonwealth small states trade finance facility. As you are aware, Commonwealth has 31 small states as its members out of the 53 countries and trade finance is very important to them," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The 24th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) deliberated extensively on combating climate change and a number of countries pledged their financial assistance to island nations of the grouping.

"India played its role in the deliberations making it very clear that we should not try to pre-judge the outcome of Paris COP21 and also need to ensure adequate funding for developing countries so that they meet their INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) targets," Swarup said.

He said the CHOGM summit, which began yesterday, will adopt all final documents on key decisions tomorrow.

Commonwealth has decided to set up the trade finance facility to help the poor nations introduce clean energy and bring down green-house gas emissions.

India was represented at the summit by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The session on climate change was attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande.

Canada has pledged USD 2 billion assistance to help poor countries in their quest for limiting green-house gas emissions.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat yesterday unveiled a USD 1 billion Commonwealth Green Finance Facility to support environmental projects in poor member countries of the bloc.

Separately, the UK has committed 21 million pounds for disaster management and 5.5 million pounds for the ocean-based economy. Australia has committed USD 1 million for a new Commonwealth idea -- a Climate Finance Access Hub.

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