The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a total of $15 million in financing, comprised of policy-based loans and grants, for the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program which will help strengthen Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu’s resilience to disasters.
ADB’s assistance will include loans worth $3.1 million each to Samoa and Tonga. It will also include grants worth $2.9 million each to Samoa and Tonga and $3 million to Tuvalu. All three grants are financed from the Asian Development Fund, ADB’s grant-based development financing vehicle. An ADB-supported $2 million technical assistance grant will help the three countries implement priority resilience building activities and share their experiences.
“This program will facilitate faster early recovery and reconstruction which will significantly reduce the secondary economic and social costs normally caused by delays in reconstruction activities following a disaster event,” said Hanna Uusimaa, Climate Change Specialist from ADB’s Pacific Department.
The program mirrors the ADB-supported Cook Islands Disaster Resilience Program approved in December 2016, which uses disaster contingent financing through innovative use of policy-based financing.
The Pacific Disaster Resilience Program fills a financing gap experienced by many Pacific countries hit hard by disasters. It provides a predictable and quick-disbursing source of financing for early response, recovery, and reconstruction activities, and supports priority actions in disaster risk management in participating countries.
The program supports regional collaboration towards strengthened disaster risk management and disaster risk financing. It also encourages the sharing of experiences between Pacific countries, in close alignment with the work of other development partners, and under the guidance of the region’s own framework for resilient development. It also addresses risks pertaining to disaster events that would normally exhaust annual contingency budgets or emergency funds, but may not be cost effectively covered by insurance.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.