ADB to expand its support to the Pacific
May 4, 2019 7:35 am
The Asian Development Bank will expand its support to help the Pacific islands.
This is to build stronger resilience to global economic shocks, disasters, and climate change.
ADB President, Takehiko Nakao made these comments at the 52nd Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors currently ongoing in Nadi.
With Fiji as the first Pacific Island country to host the meet, it was an opportunity to highlight the unique development challenges and significant development progress throughout the region.
Under ADB’s Strategy 2030, the Asian Development Bank will introduce differentiated approaches to development assistance that’s centered on five key areas.
ADB President, Takehiko Nakao says this is especially for small island states and countries with fragile and conflict-affected situations.
This includes key areas such as climate change, disaster risk management, project preparation, procurement, and capacity building across the region.
To do this, the ADB is scaling up its financial and technical assistance.
In the last three years (2016–2018), the total lending and grant commitments amounted to $1.5 U.S billion as compared to $700 million in the previous three years (2013–2015).
Annual base allocations were increased from $6 million to $13 million for 2019 and 2020, an important boost in concessional financing for many countries in the Pacific.
ADB is also actively mobilizing co-financing in climate change, and is the largest mobilizer of funds for the Pacific from the Green Climate Fund, from whom ADB has secured more than $130 million in grant funding.
Nakao adds that the ADB would also do more to promote innovation in the Pacific.
ADB’s Pacific Department pioneered the use of contingent lines of credit to provide financing for response and recovery efforts in the immediate aftermath of disasters.
Meanwhile, Nakao highlighted the need to strengthen ADB’s partnership with key development partners such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the European Union, the World Bank, and the Pacific Islands Forum.