US$2.88 million in additional financing approved for aviation upgrades
WASHINGTON D.C., March 31, 2016—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved additional funding for the Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project, currently underway in the capital of Funafuti. As part of the Pacific Aviation Investment Program, the project is delivering essential upgrades to the runway, terminal, and air traffic control and navigational systems, while also focusing on improving capacity in operational and regulatory management.
“We are working closely and effectively with the government of Tuvalu to achieve tangible progress in aviation sector safety and efficiency,” said Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands. "Aviation is essential to the regional connectivity for Pacific island nations – enabling the flows of tourism, remittances, labor, goods, services, knowledge and investments that sustain economies and livelihoods.”
The project will receive an additional funding of US$2.88 million for an 18-month extension to allow the completion of a new airport terminal building, the purchase of a fire rescue vehicle, construction supervision and project management costs. Additionally, a project management internship program will be introduced to help teach local Tuvaluans necessary skills.
“The activities we have undertaken with the assistance of the World Bank have provided numerous improvements, including a fully rehabilitated runway, new air traffic control equipment, and sector reforms to strengthen and build institutional capacity – just to name a few,” said Hon. Maatia Toafa, Tuvalu Minister of Finance and Economic Development. “Aviation is critical to our nation and we look forward to seeing continued improvements in service safety and reliability.”
The additional financing will be provided to Tuvalu as a grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.