World Bank Vice President makes inaugural visit
APIA, February 23, 2017 – The World Bank will significantly increase its support to Samoa in the coming years, announced Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, on her inaugural visit to the country today.
Ms. Kwakwa today met with Samoa’s Prime Minister Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Minister of Finance, Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti and discussed greater engagement between the government and the World Bank. The World Bank is committed to substantially increasing resources available to Samoa for the three-year period beginning July 1 through the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries.
“It is a pleasure to have the Vice President here for her first visit to Samoa,” said Prime Minister Malielegaoi. “We are appreciative of the long-standing, strong relationship we share with the World Bank, and I look forward to deeper engagement as we decide where the announced increase in available support could have substantial benefits and effective outcomes for the people of Samoa.”
International Development Association funds available to the Pacific region, including Samoa, will increase from US$360million to US$900 million, providing greater support to the government on areas identified as key priorities for development.
“The World Bank has been a long-term partner of Samoa, and our team is proud of what we have already achieved together, including supporting the reconstruction of key roads, and the reinvigoration of the Samoan agriculture sector,” said Ms. Kwakwa. “This significant increase in support to Samoa, through the International Development Association, ensures we will be able to build on these successes to ensure the Samoan government’s development priorities can become a reality over the coming years.”
On Thursday, Ms. Kwakwa will also meet with representatives from government, the private sector, and youth and women’s groups for a roundtable discussion on the World Bank’s latest report series, Pacific Possible, which looks ahead 25 years to the key risks and opportunities for transformative change in the Pacific region. Ms. Kwakwa will then visit cattle farmers who have benefited from support to upgrade their farms under the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project.
During her visit to Samoa, Ms. Kwakwa will also see road construction funded through the World Bank-supported Enhanced Road Access Project. She will also join the Samoan government and representatives from the Australian government, Asian Development Bank and other partners for a ceremony to mark the start of construction on the Savai’i component of the Tui-Samoa submarine cable, the World Bank-funded project to help Samoa meet its growing demand for high-speed, reliable internet.