28 Feb 2008

World Bank reveals a major expansion in services and loans for Pacific countries

11:20 am on 28 February 2008

The World Bank is planning a substantial expansion of the support it provides to Pacific countries.

It will shortly open an office in Honiara, Solomon Islands and is planning others in Tonga and Samoa while existing facilities and services in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea will be expanded.

The vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Jim Adams, says the development challenges faced by Pacific countries are real.

He says over the next two years the World Bank expects to double its support to the region.

"So we are looking at doing a lot more. We think both the capacity to implement the projects justifies that and we think the needs justify that. So we are looking at an expanded programme - not just in terms of increasing the number of offices we have, but in increasing the number of loans we make and the amount of resources we can provide to the governments concerned."