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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Supports Building Resilient Coastal Communities in Samoa

December 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 27, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$14.6 million grant to help 45,000 Samoans who live in coastal communities adapt to climate change and climate variability. The Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Coastal Resources and Communities Project will develop and implement immediate adaptation activities to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people; protect infrastructure and environment; and increase awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation activities among communities, civil society and government.

“Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Samoa, and around 70% of Samoans live within 1 kilometer of the coastline.” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands. “The World Bank, through the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), is proud to support Samoa in these efforts to secure the future of coastal communities by investing in the adaptation measures that are needed to cope with the impacts of climate change today and for the longer-term.”

The project will help strengthen the capacity of the targeted communities to update and implement local Coastal Infrastructure Plans (CIPs) and will focus on increasing the resilience of coastlines, near-shore areas, and coral reefs. Additionally, the project will work with civil society organizations and local leaders to improve the national climate information services, create public awareness of issues relating to climate resilience, and increase the availability of data for risk analysis, hazard mapping, and knowledge sharing.

The Independent State of Samoa consists of four inhabited and five uninhabited islands and has a population of around 195,000 people. Approximately 80 percent of Samoa’s 403 km coastline is vulnerable to erosion, flooding, or landslides, making weather and climate-related events including tropical cyclones and storm surges a significant threat to Samoa’s development. This project will operate in 16 districts on the two most populous islands, Upolu and Savai'i.

The Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Coastal Resources and Communities Project is being financed through a US$14.6 million grant from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) of the Strategic Climate Fund (PPCR), which is one of two funds within the framework of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). The CIF is a multi-donor facility supported by fourteen countries.