ADB expands presence in Vanuatu

ADB Vice-President Mr. Stephen Groff (left) with the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Mr. Charlot Salwai (right) at the inauguration of ADB’s Extended Mission in Vanuatu.

PORT VILA,29 AUGUST 2018 (ADB) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Stephen Groff joined the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai in inaugurating ADB’s extended mission in Vanuatu.

“ADB’s financing has helped Vanuatu achieve some real development results,” said Salwai. “The ADB Extended Mission will allow us to collectively better respond to the development needs of the people of Vanuatu.”

In establishing the extended presence in Vanuatu, ADB is reaffirming their commitment to and deepening relationship with the country. It will better enable ADB to provide more effective support and responsiveness on the ground and maintain regular and close dialogue with the Government of Vanuatu, civil society, project beneficiaries, and other development partners.

ADB’s extended mission for Vanuatu assists the government in implementing its development strategy, the National Sustainable Development Plan 2016–2030, while facilitating activities outlined in ADB’s Pacific Approach 2016–2020, which serves as the overall country partnership strategy for the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The extended mission is led by  Arto Ahonen. He is assisted by Senior country coordination officer Nancy Wells and other support staff.

“In the past 37 years, ADB has provided Vanuatu with US$202.42 million to help the country achieve its development goals,” said Groff. “In the next two years, ADB is expected to scale up total financing for Vanuatu for a further US$88.50 million.”

ADB is working with the Government of Vanuatu prepare for a renewable energy future by helping reduce the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels for power generation. ADB is also supporting the development of the country’s transport and water sectors; the improvement of urban infrastructure and services; as well as the enhancement of public sector management.

For instance, the ADB-financed Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction Project is supporting the government’s efforts to climate- and disaster-proof transport infrastructure on the Efate ring road, which suffered significant damage from flooding caused by Cyclone Pam in March 2015. The project is also helping the Government of Vanuatu’s school rebuilding drive in the wake of the cyclone by rebuilding junior secondary schools in Tafea Province and making them more climate- and disaster-resilient.

ADB promotes the use of renewable technology to provide better urban services in the country. The ADB-supported Unlocking Innovation for Development, for example, is utilizing solar technology to provide safe and reliable drinking water to the Petros Primary School community in Tanna, Vanuatu. ADB is also supporting the private sector in the country by helping enterprises perform better, while providing a strengthened enabling environment for business.

ADB began working with the Government of Vanuatu in 1981. ADB has since approved 16 loans totaling US$95.96 million, 14 grants worth US$83.41 million in total, and 69 technical assistance projects worth US$23.05 million.

The Vanuatu Extended Mission joins the ADB Development Coordination Offices in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu, as well as the other extended missions in Solomon Islands and Tonga. It also joins the country offices in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Sydney, and Timor-Leste in boosting ADB’s field presence to facilitate aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the Pacific region.

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