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PRESS RELEASE November 22, 2017

Kiribati Continues to Pave Way for Stronger Economy

Affordable electricity and telecommunications access set to increase

WASHINGTON D.C., November 22, 2017 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$5 million for Kiribati’s Fourth Economic Reform Development Policy Operation, which will build on progress made to strengthen public finances and boost inclusive economic growth.

The fourth in a series since 2013, the financing will assist in strengthening public financial management through improved governance of the country’s sovereign wealth fund (known as the Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (RERF)), and better reporting and monitoring of public debt and liabilities. Efforts towards more inclusive growth will be improved through measures that strengthen joint ventures in fisheries and improve access to telecommunications and electricity, particularly in the nation’s outer islands.

“With the support of trusted development partners including the World Bank, the government of Kiribati will continue to strive for a more prosperous future for all I-Kiribati,” said Hon. Dr. Teuea Toatu Minister for Finance and Economic Development. “We are committed to our reform plan and to our promise to deliver greater access to telecommunications in the outer islands and affordable electricity to those most in need.”

The Fourth 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, competition in the domestic mobile telecommunications market, and improved delivery of essential services from the Public Utilities Board. 

Development partners the Asian Development Bank, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade each provided budget support for the series of policy reforms agreed with the I-Kiribati government.

“The World Bank stands as a committed partner in development with the government of Kiribati, as they work to ensure stronger public finances and create an environment for economic growth which benefits all I-Kiribati,” said World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Michel Kerf.

The Fourth Economic Support Development Policy Operation is funded through a US$5 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries. This support builds on gains achieved by previous development policy operations in 2013, 2014 and 2016.


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Benjamin Brighouse
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