22 Feb 2017

World Bank to almost triple support to Pacific by 2019

5:41 pm on 22 February 2017

Pacific countries stand to benefit from an almost tripling of financial support from the World Bank to the region in its next development funding cycle, beginning in July.

Silhouette of a construction worker

Silhouette of a construction worker Photo: 123RF

The International Development Association, the bank's fund for the world's most in need countries, spent $US360 million in the Pacific in 2015 and this will increase this to $US900 million next year.

World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa announced the increase during a visit to Vanuatu over the weekend.

Ms Kwakwa says all of the bank's Pacific island partners will benefit from the increase.

"The increase is largest in countries like Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and others that are classified as really fragile and proportionately the smaller islands will see a bigger increase. In terms of the sectors focus will vary from country to country. Our objective is to help clients make transformational difference," said Victoria Kwakwa

Dredging and construction of a new seawall is underway on the Tuvalu atoll of Nukufetau.

Dredging and construction of a new seawall is underway on the Tuvalu atoll of Nukufetau. Photo: Hall Pacific

Ms. Kwakwa says countries such as Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and small island states like Tuvala which have been identified as the most fragile will see the largest increases in funding support.

She said focus areas vary from country to country based on their respective development challenges and aspirations.

Following her trip to Vanuatu over the weekend Victoria Kwakwa will be in Samoa over the next few days to meet with government officials, development partners and communities participating in World Bank-supported projects, before travelling to Wellington next Monday to meet with senior officials from the New Zealand government.

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