World Bank

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 to help Samoa fight lifestyle disease crisis

The bank has offered to fund research, which would enable data collection to help the government improve its taxation policy on tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food.

Lifestyle diseases are a major problem in Samoa with diabetes, heart disease, and strokes now accounting for almost half of all deaths.

Samoa also has one of the highest obesity rates in the Pacific at 54 per cent, while obesity rates among Samoan women are 66 per cent.

The World Health Organisation says those rates have increased in Samoa over the last decade.

World Bank cuts Chinese contract in Samoa

Talamua Online reported the Fiji based company had won the World Bank funded project over four local construction companies but has had it cancelled after the World Bank discovered illegal transactions.

One of the four, Bluebird Construction, has now been awarded the job with their bid of $US2.9 million.

The contract was part of a $US26.35 million project from the World Bank and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to restore storm-damaged roads and bridges and make them more resilient to the effects of climate change.

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 tries to make Pacific solar power decisions easier

At a regional energy summit in Samoa, the World Bank said it was detailing the potential for its online solar atlas, which gives interested parties the means to find where solar power potential is most concentrated.

Samoa one step closer to faster, cheaper internet

Construction of the 1,300 kilometre system will cost $US57.4million and will connect Upolu and Savai'i, to the Southern Cross Cable Network in Suva, Fiji.

The project was launched by the Samoa government with support from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony Samoa's communications minister Afamasaga Rico Tupa'i said high speed internet was essential for improving the lives of ordinary Samoan people.

World Bank to almost triple support to Pacific by 2019

The International Development Association, the bank's fund for the world's most in need countries, spent $US360 million in the Pacific in 2015 and this will increase this to $US900 million next year.

World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa announced the increase during a visit to Vanuatu over the weekend.

Ms Kwakwa says the bank’s entire Pacific island partners will benefit from the increase.

Framework will protect financial consumers

Financial consumer protection ‘involves laws, regulations and institutional arrangements that safeguard consumers in the financial marketplace’, as defined by the World Bank.

According to the Second National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016 – 2020, the Bank of Papua New Guinea will be taking the lead in developing the framework.

Development of the framework will focus on three areas. They are: Regulatory; Financial Service Providers; and Consumers.