World Bank

ADB, World Bank expand presence in Tonga

The new office marks a significant increase in the development institutions’ presence in Tonga and the Pacific region.

“ADB and World Bank financing has helped Tonga achieve real development results,” said Prime Minister Tuʻiʻonetoa.

“The new shared field presence of the two institutions will allow us to collectively better respond to the development needs of the people of Tonga.”

Tonga govt say World Bank responsible for Gita delays

The lack of progress, which has left a number of schools still using tents as classrooms 17 months after the cyclone, has been drawing criticism in recent weeks.

The government has rejected the accusations and its spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli, says the government has had no control over the hold up, but it has been assured repairs to the schools will start soon.

World Bank to prioritise climate change resilience in Pacific

Its vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, was in Tonga last week for talks.

Ms Kwakwa said the World Bank was working closely within Australia's Step Up and New Zealand's Pacific Reset programmes.

"We've been working on several things including supporting countries to strengthen their climate change resilience, working to support policy reforms to build their economic resilience and we're also working together on the connectivity agenda," Ms Kwakwa said.

"As you know, this region is very remote, even compared to other small island states."

World Bank approves US$4.65M for digital access to Tonga public services

The Tonga Digital Government Support Project will strengthen digital access, efficiency and security in Tonga’s public service, by supporting a number of whole-of-government digital initiatives, includinga new National Government Portal that will improve Tongans’ access to services and information across all Government ministries and agencies, as well as improvements to Tonga’s regulations for digital economy and digital government, data protection and privacy, and cyber security.

More opportunities for Tongan youth and job-seekers

The Skills and Employment for Tongans Project will support the Tongan government to establish a cash transfer programme to address the financial constraints many households face in accessing and keeping children in secondary school. The project will also ensure technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses are improved to help students build skills to make them more employable in Tonga, as well as through Australian or New Zealand employment programmes.

More resilient school buildings for 9,000 Tongan students

The funding will extend the Pacific Resilience Program’s support to the government of Tonga in delivering early warning systems, resilient investments, and financial protection against natural disasters.

Further, five more years of disaster risk financing insurance premiums will be paid for under the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Finance Initiative (PCRAFI) disaster risk finance and insurance program, which rapidly paid out US$3.5 million in emergency funds to the government of Tonga, following severe Tropical Cyclone Gita.

Tuvalu's international airport to be upgraded

The money would go towards repairs of the runway at Funafuti Airport, which was being damaged by water infiltration exacerbated by tidal and sea level impacts.

Several trial design solutions for the problem would be tried during this cyclone season.

The World Bank's Pacific country director, Michael Kerf, said it was imperative that Tuvalu's only international airport continues to function safely.

He said the project would help Tuvalu be resilient from the impacts of climate change.

World Bank optimistic about Pacific growth

The document, 'Pacific Possible', has been launched at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa.

The Bank said the document had been three years in the making, and was the culmination of extensive consultations with Pacific Island and Pacific Rim governments, non-governmental organisations, academics and individuals across the region.

It has identified tourism, fisheries, the knowledge economy and labour mobility as key areas offering opportunities.

The report also mentions deep sea mining, yet advises caution.

World Bank to establish regional office in Suva

Fiji welcomed this opportunity during the signing of the World Bank establishment agreement at the Prime Minister’s office Wednesday.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji is honoured to host the World Bank group.

Bainimarama says Fiji’s relationship with the World Bank is growing and its presence at home will benefit not only Fiji but neighbouring countries.

World Bank looking into missing cyclone money in Tonga

The Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva ordered an investigation into the funds which were meant to go towards the rebuilding of homes on Ha'apai.

The island group was hit hard by Cyclone Ian in 2014, leaving thousands homeless, but the reconstruction effort had been plagued with delays and 75 homes still need to be rebuilt.

The World Bank had been assisting with the rebuild.

The bank's Tatafu Moeaki said it wants to make sure the government investigation was done correctly.