World Bank supports regional connectivity

World Bank South Pacific resident representative Lasse Melgaard. Picture: FILE

THE launching of the Suva-Savusavu submarine cable project over the weekend demonstrated the World Bank’s efforts to ensure regional connectivity in the Pacific region.

World Bank South Pacific resident representative Lasse Melgaard said apart from ensuring regional connectivity, there were other projects that they funded.

Mr Melgaard said the World Bank currently funded 60 projects in the Pacific, all valued at $1.43 billion.

“It has financed the connection to Samoa which the Suva-Savusavu cable is connected to and right now, there is a project being developed to connect Tarawa in the Kiribati to Nauru in the Federated States of Micronesia,” he said.

“Earlier, we had also financed the fibre-optic cable connecting Tonga to the cable and it is part of the regional effort to get fast and lower cost internet to the people of the Pacific.

“The basic reason that the World Bank funds these sorts of projects is to ensure that people in the Pacific have basic access to information which is important for economic growth, also critical to eliminate poverty.”

Mr Melgaard said the access to internet also opened the ability for e-learning, e-health and e-commerce which was critical to any modern society.

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