Pacific Islands government ministers meeting in Fiji have told donors not to dictate terms when offering funds.
The deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, Samiu Vaipulu, has told climate change and disaster risk experts and donor partners that they should not assume they know more than governments do about their people.
Vanuatu's Minister for Planning and Climate Change Adaptation, Thomas Laken agreed, and told donors to let Vanuatu decide what it needed.
Mr Vaipulu says Pacific nations will not be led to make changes which would make generations suffer.
He says Tonga needs the help of regional organisations, but they must work with the government.
"Sometimes regional organisations or donor partners come and tell us what to do. If we ask you this, all you have to do is tell us is 'yes or no'. That's it. That's how we've got to work together with regional organisations. We know our own people better than regional and donor partners."