Eleven Pacific Island countries (excluding Papua New Guinea) are members of the World Bank:
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia, Federated States of
- Solomon Islands
The World Bank’s Pacific Island member countries have a population of about 2.3 million people, spread across a unique and diverse region made up of hundreds of islands, and scattered over an area equivalent to 15 percent of the globe’s surface.
In May 2016, we opened an office in Fiji, the largest country of the group, with a population of around 880,000. Tuvalu and Nauru, with estimated populations around 10,000 each, are the World Bank Group’s smallest members by population. Kiribati is one of the most remote and geographically-dispersed countries in the world, consisting of 33 coral atolls spread over 3.5 million square kilometers of ocean – an area larger than India. The half a million residents of the Solomon Islands live across 90 inhabited islands, 78 percent of whom reside in rural areas.
Each of these countries share similar challenges and opportunities as small and remote island economies. They are small in size with limited natural resources, narrowly-based economies, large distances to major markets, and vulnerability to exogenous shocks – all of which can affect growth and have often led to a high degree of economic volatility.
These are also some of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. According to a World Bank report, eight Pacific Island countries are among the 20 countries in the world with the highest average annual disaster losses scaled by gross domestic product.
Sustained development progress will require long-term cooperation between international development partners, regional organizations and governments. More broadly, greater economic integration, more equitable natural resource agreements, more open labor markets and adaptation to climate change will be vital for the long term future of the Pacific Islands.
Last Updated: Sep 19, 2016