Asian Development Bank

ADB, GCF, and Australia Partner to improve Renewable Energy in Tonga

Approved in 2017 by ADB, the facility finances renewable energy projects in the 11 smallest Pacific island developing member countries with an overall estimated cost of $750 million, with ADB providing up to $200 million.

The project will help improve the development and implementation of renewable energy projects in Tonga, enhancing the country’s energy security and reducing carbon emissions. ADB will also administer grants worth $29.9 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and $2.5 million provided by the Government of Australia for the project.

ADB to Climate-Proof Nuku'alofa Electricity Network in Tonga

The support follows the $6 million assistance ADB provided to the Government of Tonga on 16 February under the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program and an additional $1 million under the ADB-supported Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund for humanitarian relief efforts on 22 February.

Apart from the grant from ADB’s Disaster Response Facility, Tonga Power Limited and the Government of Tonga will also contribute $1.48 million and $1.14 million, respectively, to the Cyclone Gita Recovery Project—expected to cost about $9.42 million in total.

ADB gives additional $1m to Tonga

The director-general of the ADB's Pacific Department said Gita was one of the most powerful cyclones in Tonga's recorded history and it had directly affected almost 80 percent of the population and damaged or destroyed around 2,000 homes.

Carmela Locsin said the grant will go towards restoring critical services, like water and electricity, clearing and disposing of rubble, and providing transitional shelter.

ADB warns climate change could wash away Tonga’s economic growth

According to the ADB’s latest Pacific Economic Monitor, inflation will remain unchanged at 2.5% and the GDP will grow from 2.8% to 3.5% in 2018.

However, the ADB also warned that Tonga ranked second highest country (behind Vanuatu) at risk from natural disasters.

Kaniva News reports Tonga’s location exposed it to a higher chance of natural disaster.

Its placing was also determined by its ability to cope with a disaster and to adapt in the aftermath.

ADB wants the Pacific to do more to adapt to climate change

In its latest Pacific Economic Monitor the Bank said changes were needed now to mitigate disaster risks to improve the region's economic growth and development prospects,

The ADB's director general of its Pacific Department, Carmela Locsin, said many Pacific countries had taken steps to improve resilience but she said more innovative approaches and greater institutional capacity could help the response.

ADB creates $200m facility to support clean energy projects in 11 Pacific Island Countries

The Pacific Island countries to be supported by the new fund include the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

These countries face developmental issues such as small populations, limited resources, remoteness and vulnerability to natural disasters.

ADB supports energy reform, clean and renewable energy in Pacific

The Pacific Energy Update 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of ADB’s energy-focused work in the Pacific. The publication highlights the impacts of ADB-supported energy initiatives completed in 2016 and ongoing in 2017, while providing details of what ADB hopes to achieve in the energy sector in the future.

ADB encourages Palau to seek bigger spending tourists

The bank said strong economic growth was masking urgent infrastructure and environmental challenges that threaten the long term sustainability of Palau's economy.

In an ADB assessment it warned the rapid growth of low-end tourism could damage Palau's famed natural environment and World Heritage sites.

The bank's Liliana Warid says figures showing GDP growth of 5.3 percent in 2014 and 8.2 percent in 2015 don't capture the risks that increased tourist numbers bring to popular sites.

Tonga roads need to be maintained, ADB

The ADB contributed $US5 million to the Nuku'alofa improvement project.

An ADB report says there's doubt the Government recognised the importance of maintenance of the improved assets.

Matangi Tonga reports continual maintenance of the drainage system is considered essential by the design engineers so it could do its job during periods of heavy rainfall.

The report reveals that cancellation of plans and reallocation of funds had compromised the goals of the five-year project.

ADB grant to help improve Kiribati roading

It involved an upgrade and rehabilitation of the road network in South Tarawa.

The project was also being supported by the World Bank and the Government of Australia through the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility.

The ADB grant was to go to the construction of important road network links by adding an extra 7.8 kilometres of paved road and half a kilometre of unpaved road to cover additional areas in Betio and Bairiki linked to the current project.

Photo: Shifani Sood