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World Bank Group announces massive $1b strategy for Fiji

January 22, 2021 11:04 am

The World Bank Group has today announced a new strategy for Fiji worth over one billion dollars.

The World Bank will be providing over $429 million, while IFC will pump in over six hundred million dollars.

A statement released today says the Fijian Government and the World Bank Group have agreed to a new strategy in Fiji over the next four years.

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The WBG says central to the strategy is a focus on supporting Fiji’s recovery from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, as well as severe Tropical Cyclones Harold and Yasa, in addition to the ongoing impacts of climate change.

This is aimed at boosting the Fijian economy and strengthening its fiscal, climate and social resilience following the impacts of two tropical cyclones, and the devastating fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Fiji, the first for us, provides a strategic road-map of priority activities over the next four years for World Bank Group member organizations.

The focus of this is on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, which offers risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees.

The World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Fiji has two major focus areas:
• Focus Area 1: Fostering Private Sector-led Growth and Inclusive Economic Opportunities – focuses on creating investment and business opportunities; more jobs; improved access to finance; boosting the tourism and agriculture sectors; as well as better infrastructure, digital services and more clean energy.
• Focus Area 2: Building Resilience – includes support to help Fiji gain access to funds both before and after a disaster strikes; improve emergency planning and increase resilient infrastructure; protect the environment and develop a sustainable Blue Economy; strengthen community resilience to climate and public health emergencies; and provide social assistance to help families and businesses that are in critical need.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says 2020 demonstrated just how vulnerable Fiji, like other Pacific countries, can be too massive external shocks.

He says the key initiatives in this framework will help Fiji to accelerate our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and cyclones, and strengthen our resilience to future disasters.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the partnership Fiji is building with the World Bank Group continues to strengthen, and it will help the government put in place critical foundations to address the impacts of the pandemic and continue to build a more resilient Fiji.

World Bank Resident Representative for Fiji, Lasse Melgaard, says over the next four years, the World Bank will support the implementation of this strategy.

Deva De Silva, IFC Resident Representative for Fiji, says with the triple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and two cyclones, private sector solutions will be essential to help stimulate Fiji’s economy.

The World Bank, which will mark 50 years of work in Fiji in 2021, while IFC celebrates 42 years in Fiji this year.

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