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PRESS RELEASE

Kiribati Prepared For Second Economic Boost

November 14, 2014

World Bank Board Approves Second US$3 Million Operation 

WASHINGTON, November 14, 2014 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$3 million for the Second Economic Support Development Policy Operation, which will support efficient public service delivery and long-term fiscal sustainability in the Republic of Kiribati.

This project is the second of two rounds of funding from the World Bank which directly support the government’s Economic Reform Plan. Through targeted policy changes, the project aims to strengthen fiscal sustainability and safeguard vital public services and infrastructure investments.

“The Government of Kiribati is dedicated to enacting significant policy reform which will ensure the long-term strength and sustainability of our economy,” said Hon. Tom Murdoch, Kiribati’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development. “This operation builds on our Economic Reform Plan, which will improve the management of government finances, support the delivery of public services and sustain private sector jobs for i-Kiribati.”

Specifically, policy reform supported by the project will target improvements in the management and transparency of fisheries revenues; the administration of public assets and liabilities; and the introduction of private participation and competition into the telecommunications sector. In the medium-term, these reforms will have significant benefits for the most vulnerable i-Kiribati, through improved economic opportunities and the maintenance of access to basic services.

“This operation represents the second stage of a World Bank commitment to ensuring the long-term viability of Kiribati’s economy and the improvement of living conditions for i-Kiribati, including the most vulnerable,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.

The Second Economic Support Development Policy Operation is funded through a US$3 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. This support builds on gains achieved by a previous budget support operation approved in 2013.



Media Contacts
In Washington
Diana Chung
Tel : 202-473-8357
dchung1@worldbank.org
In Sydney
Kym Smithies
Tel : 61 417 665 119
ksmithies@worldbank.org


PRESS RELEASE NO:
2015/201/EAP

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