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."

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.

Nauru economy heading into recession - World Bank

The Australian newspaper reported that the bank's latest review of Asia-Pacific economies predicted Nauru's economy would go into recession over the next financial year.

The bank said growth remained "dependent on the very uncertain outlook for the regional processing centre, which in turn is contingent on the extent to which asylum-seekers in Nauru are resettled in other countries".

The reopening of the centre in 2012 helped fuel economic growth at an average 20 per cent a year for three years, but the World Bank said growth had dropped to four per cent this year.

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.

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.

Vanuatu aviation sector receives boost in funding

In a statement, Vanuatu's finance minister Gaetan Pikioune said the government requested the additional funding to ensure the continued upgrade of the country's main international airport in Port Vila.

The bank's country director for the Pacific, Michel Kerf, said aviation is critical to Vanuatu's economy, providing essential links for tourism, trade, disaster response and recovery.

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.

Bright future for the Pacific: World Bank

Michel Kerf will oversee the World Bank's regional portfolio which includes 55 projects across 13 countries worth more than one-billion-US-dollars.

He thanked his predecessor Franz Drees-Gross for his work over the past three years which he says helped broaden engagement in many areas in the Pacific including disaster resilience, fisheries and connectivity.