Asian Development Bank

ADB provides $20 million grant to help Samoa respond to COVID-19

The grant will help fund measures to upgrade Samoa’s health sector and support the government’s economic stimulus programme.

“As Samoa works to keep the disease from entering the country, ADB’s support will help to strengthen the health sector by funding the training of workers, upgrading facilities, and bolstering medical supplies,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “ADB’s assistance will also help support the livelihoods of the many people in Samoa affected by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”

ADB provides $2.9 million assistance for Samoa's COVID-19 response

A state of emergency was declared in Samoa on 20 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scale of the emergency is expected to be beyond the capacity of the government’s health sector to meet the immediate expenses needed for adequate public health services during the crisis. The Government of Samoa had already announced a 66.3 million tala ($23.78 million) stimulus program to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.

Apia Port upgrade plan praised by minister

The Samoa Observer reported the upgrade was being financed by a $US62.3 million grant from the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) disaster risk reduction financing mechanism.

Sili said the upgrade was a complete package, not just for the Ports Authority but also for government services operating at the port.

Improved security would also ensure no drugs or weapons were smuggled into or out of Samoa, following the procurement of a new container scanner, he said.

ADB, Samoa partner to enhance safety, security of Apia Port

“Enhanced climate and disaster resilience of the lifeline port, and enhanced border security and efficiency delivered by the project will increase trade competitiveness, particularly for Samoan exports,” said ADB Senior Transport Specialist for the Pacific Ms. Alexandra Pamela Chiang. “This will stimulate the economy, generate local employment, boost trade, and improve people’s lives.”

ADB launches $US5 billion ocean health initiative

The plan was announced at the ADB board of governor's meeting, held last week in Fiji.

The Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies targets maritime welfare in the Asia-Pacific.

ADB president Takehiko Nakao said it was part of a more, "resilient future, where humanity and oceans thrive together".

Of the world's 10 rivers carrying the most plastic pollution to the ocean, the ADB said eight were in the region.

Without immediate action, the ADB said about 90 percent of the region's coral reefs could be dead by 2050.

ADB offers support for Pacific renewable power projects

The support includes loans, guarantees, and letters of credit aimed to overcome constraints to private sector investment in the renewables sector.

The ADB says the Pacific Renewable Energy Programme will support an estimated 5 separate renewable energy projects in its Pacific developing member countries over a 5 year period.

"The program will help to build urgently needed capacity for energy sector expansion and private sector interest in clean energy projects in the region," said the Director General of the ADB's Pacific Department Carmela Locsin

ADB President meets Samoan Prime Minister and signs agreement to set up office in Apia

President Nakao also met Minister for Finance and ADB Governor Sili Epa Tuioti during his first official visit to Samoa. 

“Samoa is a founding member of ADB since 1966 and we have worked in close partnership to address development challenges and create new opportunities in this country,” said Nakao. 

“ADB is increasing its support to Samoa and we are committed to helping the government continue to improve access to renewable energy, extend ICT connectivity, and strengthen public sector management.” 

ADB seeks to improve customary land use in Samoa

ADB President Takehiko Nakao is in Samoa for a three day visit.

Both the Samoa government and the ADB have been criticised for promoting the economic use of customary land and the creation of a more structured registration system of title.

This culminated with legal action against the Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi over the Government's Land Titles Registration Act.

But Mr Nakao said the ADB did not want to infringe on the rights of land owners.

Asian Development Bank establishes presence in Samoa

This is part of the ADB’s expansion of its presence in the sub region.

The office in Samoa will be led by Senior Country Coordination Officer for ADB, Tuala Maria Melei.

The expansion, which was recently approved by ADB.’s Board of Directors, involves the conversion of four extended missions—in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu—into country offices. 

It also includes the establishment of seven new country offices in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu. 

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.