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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WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$4.5 million grant to The University of the South Pacific from the International Development Association (I... Show More +DA) for a Pacific Regional Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Regulatory Development Project to strengthen the capacity of Pacific ICT regulatory institutions, and improve regional collaboration and knowledge-sharing on regulatory issues.The project will focus on strengthening ICT regulatory institutions in participating countries, thus helping to ensure that consumers, businesses, and other users of ICT services, will be better served.“Improved connectivity in the Pacific region has led to a ‘telecommunications revolution’, with improved access and falling prices already leading to a dramatic increase in the number of people using mobile phones and accessing the internet. Better regulation will ensure that markets remain competitive and consumers are getting the best service possible. Regional cooperation is key as markets mature,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands. Since ICT markets across the Pacific are at varying stages of development, with some just beginning the liberalization process and others that already have fully functioning ICT regulators, multiple operators and competitive markets, the project is designed to provide a range of support where it is needed most.The project will focus on strengthening the regional ICT regulators technical and management skills by facilitating knowledge-sharing and problem-solving among the region’s emerging regulators, providing training and institutional strengthening activities, and improving access to industry statistics and data. It will also provide specialized advisory services for regulators on issues with regional or multi-country benefits.The project is funded by an IDA regional grant of US$4.5 million to The University of the South Pacific (USP), the region’s premier academic institution, established in 1968. The USP was selected as the host institution because it has a region-wide knowledge mandate including in ICT development, a newly-established ICT Centre and a regional communications network that is used to facilitate regional distance learning.“The World Bank Group is pleased to be working with The University of the South Pacific as the regional body that is taking a leading role in ICT development in the Pacific,” Drees-Gross said. Show Less -
The Stories of Impact series highlights work involving the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) that has helped to reduce developing countries' vulnerability to natura... Show More +l hazards and build communities' resilience.Enhancing Seismic Preparedness in IstanbulA disaster preparedness program supported by the World Bank Group and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery has helped earthquake-vulnerable Istanbul retrofit or rebuild over 1,000 public buildings. Read moreRapidly Assessing Flood Damage in Uttarakhand, IndiaGFDRR and partners conducted a Joint Rapid Damage Needs Assessment (JRDNA) for the Uttarakhand region soon after the devastating 2013 monsoons, completing a thorough analysis of damage and providing the necessary foundation for recovery efforts to begin. Read moreAssessing Post-Disaster Needs in NigeriaAfter severe flooding in 2012, Nigeria asked GFDRR and other key partners to conduct a comprehensive Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). Read moreCommunity-Based Disaster Risk Reduction in NigerGFDRR and partners have financed an almost $1 million disaster risk reduction project in Niger to build capacity of local communities for early warning and response. Read moreStrengthening Financial Resilience in the PacificIn response to requests from 15 countries, the World Bank, GFDRR, and other partners formed the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) in 2007 to help mitigate disaster and climate change risk. Read moreDisaster-Proofing the Transport Sector in VietnamThe government of Vietnam, with support from GFDRR and the World Bank, has made important strides in building the resilience of the transport sector against risk from natural disasters and climate change. Read moreManaging Drought, Sustaining Growth in DjiboutiDjibouti is at particular risk for water shortages and severe flooding, both of which profoundly impact its growing but fragile economic sector. GFDRR is helping the country build resilience. Read more Show Less -