Tuvalu Prepares for Wide-Ranging Education, Health and Financial Reforms

December 9, 2016

World Bank approves US$3.3 million for new policy reforms

WASHINGTON D.C., December 9, 2016 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$3.3 million for Tuvalu’s Third Development Policy Operation, which will support government reforms to remove secondary school fees, reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, strengthen the sustainability of public finances and encourage a more robust banking sector.

The operation is structured under two pillars aligned with the government’s priorities. First, it aims to improve social service delivery by making secondary education more inclusive and equitable, and reducing risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Second, the operation will improve economic sustainability by strengthening the management of reserves in the Tuvalu Trust Fund, improving the effectiveness of the government’s payroll system, and boosting banking sector oversight and sustainability.

“This third operation supports the government of Tuvalu’s commitment to developing an economy that is equitable and sustainable,” said Lasse Melgaard, World Bank Acting Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. “Stronger public finances, affordable education and a transparent and competitive banking sector are all important for boosting shared prosperity in Tuvalu.”

While being Tuvalu’s third Development Policy Operation, this is the first in a new series of two operations. Activities under the first pillar will help ensure free secondary education, and strengthen tobacco control legislation to reduce the prevalence of smoking among adults and associated diseases. Activities under the second pillar will improve the management of the Tuvalu Trust Fund, introduce an automated payroll system to better manage government wages and spending, and implement a banking commission to improve the oversight of the banking sector.

“The government of Tuvalu remains committed to undertaking reforms to ensure that we are addressing our vulnerabilities and improving the social service delivery for all Tuvaluans,” said Hon. Maatia Toafa, Tuvalu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development. “We are pleased to work with the World Bank as we pursue our ambitious agenda, articulated in the National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2020”.

The Third Development Policy Operation is funded through a US$3.3 million grant from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. 

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