Ten Pacific Island countries which are members of the World Bank have a population of about 3.4 million people, scattered across an area equivalent to 15 percent of the globe’s surface, with a development trajectory that will be shaped by their economic geography.
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New opportunities for Pacific collaboration discussed Suva, Fiji, February 23, 2015 – Prime Minister Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Axel va... Show More +n Trotsenburg will meet Monday to discuss the reinvigorated partnership between the World Bank and the Fijian government following last November’s election.Van Trotsenburg and a team of World Bank officials also will meet with the Minister of Finance, other development partners, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.“Today’s meeting is a chance to strengthen our engagement with Fiji and discuss Prime Minister Bainimarama’s development objectives for the country,” van Trotsenburg said. “I congratulate Fiji, and Prime Minister Bainimarama, on the recent democratic elections and stand ready to continue our role as a long-term partner for development in the Pacific region.”The World Bank has previously acknowledged its plans to support the Fijian government’s development priorities, including transport infrastructure repairs, fostering private business growth and investment, improving livelihoods in rural areas and helping Fiji become more resilient to natural disasters.“Fiji welcomes Mr. van Trotsenburg and the World Bank delegation”, Bainimarama said. “We are eager for continued constructive dialogue on the areas this government has identified as most important for the nation’s development and the people of Fiji.”The visit also will provide an opportunity for Mr. van Trotsenburg to consult on a planned report titled Pacific Possible that will analyze key development opportunities with significant potential for long-term and robust impact. The project covers six focus areas – tourism; ocean resources; knowledge economy; labor mobility; working together, and threats.Pacific Possible will examine the potential increases in income and living standards that could be achieved through regional policies supported by Pacific Island countries, along with partners around the broader Pacific Rim (Australia, Japan, Korea and others).“Pacific Possible will provide sustainable recommendations that can deliver transformational differences to smaller Pacific Island countries, including Fiji,” van Trotsenburg explained. “The World Bank has experience using data and analysis to produce reports to support development in countries including China and Vietnam, Pacific Possible will apply this approach to help generate policy opportunities for Pacific Island countries.” Show Less -
Report to assist policy makers and donors to make rural investment more effectiveHONIARA, February 6, 2015 – A World Bank report launched today in Honiara has looked at ways in which the Solomon Islan... Show More +ds Government and development partners can improve their funding mechanisms; resource distribution and; planning processes for investing in rural infrastructure and service delivery.World Bank Country Manager Anne Tully said, “following the Tension, when Government capacity had greatly diminished in parts of the country, donors and Government invested in a number of programs which delivered direct benefits to rural areas. Now, a second generation of programs is taking shape, and this report is intended to inform discussion as to how best to refine and institutionalize more effective, accountable and transparent investment in rural development.”Solomon Islands, Towards Better Investment in Rural Communities identifies ways to strengthen current methods for investing in rural service delivery by examining the main types of financing for small-scale infrastructure and livelihood activities at provincial, constituency, and community levels. It examined 1449 sub-projects funded between 2008 and 2012.The report looked at a total of more than US$134 million in rural funding disbursed through the four largest rural investment programs: Provincial Capacity Development Fund (provincial level); Rural Development Program and the Rural Advancement Micro-projects Program (community level); and the Rural Constituency Livelihood Fund, and constituency funds more broadly (constituency level).Specifically, the report analyzed how the four programs performed in the areas of local development planning; efficiency and effectiveness; accountability, transparency and dispute management; and technical quality and sustainability.“The findings of the report highlight the need to redefine the current funding streams at constituency, community and provincial levels,” said World Bank Senior Operations Officer Erik Johnson. “Funds should be aligned with clear mandates as well as appropriate capacities for implementation. There is currently signficant overlap in the use of funds, and no clear vision as to how the funds can complement each other as well as the activities of sector ministries.”Solomon Islands, Towards Better Investment in Rural Communities recommends the redistribution of resources across constituency, provincial and community funds as well as an integrated planning process to better align currently disconnected processes – starting with inclusive, participatory village and ward level planning, and working up through the constituency, provincial Government and national levels. Show Less -