WASHINGTON D.C., March 29 2012 ---- Today the World Bank Board of Directors approved the first Country Partnership Strategy for Samoa. The new Strategy focuses on encouraging broad based growth; reducing vulnerability to economic shocks, natural disasters and climate change; and supporting greater global integration to provide opportunities for Samoans.
“The Country Partnership Strategy represents a strengthening of the relationship between the World Bank and Samoa,” said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands. “It has been developed through extensive consultations and will guide the Bank as we scale up support for Samoa and the Pacific islands more broadly, to ensure that we deliver real results for the people.”
Over recent years Samoa has been adversely affected by a number of external shocks, including a devastating tsunami in 2009, food and fuel price spikes and the global financial crisis.
“Samoa is an example of how strong policies can increase growth and ensure progress toward millennium development goals” said Pamela Cox, World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific. “At the same time, Samoa also illustrates how even well performing small island states are vulnerable to external economic shocks and natural disasters, such as the 2009 tsunami. Under the new Partnership the Bank Group will work together with the Government and people of Samoa to build resilience and create opportunities.”
Over the next five years, the new Strategy will support inclusive growth in rural and urban areas and build on successful development efforts such as the telecoms revolution, which, in just a few years, has given 90 percent of Samoans access to mobile phones.
Activities under the Strategy will help improve broadband connectivity; maximize benefits from tourism; make the most of opportunities for Samoans to work overseas; and boost agricultural productivity. Support will also continue for health services and essential infrastructure including roads and energy, and for climate change adaptation.
The World Bank will be able to offer Samoa up to US$100 million in concessional finance and grants over the next five years.