Australia and donor bodies renew support for Pacific island nations

27 Oct 16

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Australian government have renewed their commitment to a unified approach in assisting the development of Pacific island countries.

Following talks in Canberra on October 26, the three bodies boosted their plans to helping 13 countries across the Pacific Islands, including Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, meet challenges including economic and environmental vulnerability, gender inequality and fragile governments.

The collaboration plan will include undertaking development projects and analytical work across the region, and will lead to an increased presence for the agencies.

Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, said the bank had maintained a strong partnership with both the ADB and the Australian government for many years,

“This renewed commitment to collaboration and cross-partner support will bring together the collective resources of our three institutions to support the key challenges and development objectives of Pacific Island countries.”

Stephen Groff, ADB vice president for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, added the cooperation was based on a shared vision for a strong and lasting collaboration.

“By working together, we can use our comparative strengths and reduce vulnerabilities to help Asia and the Pacific reduce poverty and work toward the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

Australia’s minister for international development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells added the strengthened partnerships between Australia and the development banks would make specialist expertise available focused on individual countries’ highest development priorities.

“Australia will continue to seek opportunities for collaborating on and financing of development programs in the Pacific to promote sustainable development and economic growth.”

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