Stronger Public and Private Sectors for Kiribati

September 13, 2016

World Bank Executive Board approves third operation

WASHINGTON, September 13, 2016 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved US$2 million for Kiribati’s Third Economic Reform Development Policy Operation, which will build on the Pacific Island nation’s significant progress in improved public financial management and inclusive, private sector-led growth.

The third such operation since 2013 will help strengthen public financial management through greater transparency in managing fisheries revenue, improved governance of the country’s Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (RERF), and better reporting and monitoring of public debt and liabilities. It will also help create an environment for inclusive and private sector-led growth by supporting reforms to reduce the costs, improve the quality and expand the coverage of essential public services including electricity, water, sewage, and telecommunications.

“The Government of Kiribati is committed to building fiscal resilience and promoting private sector growth to create more jobs,” said Minister for Finance and Economic Development Hon Teuea Toatu. “The continued policy reforms we are undertaking with the support of the World Bank will help improve delivery of essential public services like electricity, water and sanitation, and more resilient public finances.”

The Third Economic Support Development Policy Operation directly supports the government’s Economic Reform Plan, which has already delivered greater transparency around public debt and management of the RERF, as well as competition in the domestic mobile telecommunications market and measures to ensure the continued reform of the Public Utilities Board to achieve quality delivery of essential services. 

“This is the third in a series of programmatic budget support operations we are supporting, as the Government of Kiribati continues to improve fiscal sustainability and create conditions for more inclusive and private sector-led growth,” said Robert Utz, the World Bank Acting Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. “We look forward to continuing to work with the government to improve the lives of all i-Kiribati.”

The Third Economic Support Development Policy Operation is funded through a US$2 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. This support builds on gains achieved by previous development policy operations in 2013 and 2014

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