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PRESS RELEASE November 30, 2018

Reforms for a Stronger, More Resilient and Healthier Samoa

Strengthened resilience to economic and climate-related shocks, and reduced vulnerability to non-communicable diseases targeted in World Bank support

WASHINGTON, November 29, 2018 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$13.7 million for Samoa’s Second Resilience Development Policy Operation with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option, which supports reforms to strengthen Samoa’s resilience to economic shocks and reduce its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and non-communicable diseases.

The reforms should particularly benefit Samoa’s poor and vulnerable by reducing those risks that have a disproportionate impact on them. They will, for instance, reduce the risk of the Government being unable to fund essential public services after an external shock; the risk of a disruption to remittance flows; and the risk of extreme impacts on livelihoods, or a lack of access to key services after a natural disaster.

“The government of Samoa is continuing to deliver on reforms that will strengthen our economy, enhance our resilience to climate change and natural hazards, and reduce the scourge of non-communicable diseases,” said Samoa’s Minister of Finance Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti. “We are pleased to partner with the World Bank as we work for Samoa’s people, guided by our Strategy for the Development of Samoa.”

This operation provides upfront budget support and includes an innovative Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO), which provides quick financing in the aftermath of a natural disaster. For Samoa, the inclusion of a Cat DDO will specifically support the government’s efforts to reduce Samoa's vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change, not only by providing substantial financing immediately after a disaster hits, but also by supporting key policy reforms to boost the resilience of homes, public infrastructure, and communities.

“The Samoan government is laying the foundations for a stronger, more resilient and healthier Samoa by continuing to implement a range of policy reforms to reduce vulnerabilities, including those reforms supported by this operation,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

More concretely, the operation aims to:

·       raise government revenues, and manage risks to remittance flows by ensuring compliance with international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards;

·       ensure the implementation of climate-resilient building standards for homes; improve the management and resilience of public infrastructure; and strengthen the resilience of communities to the effects of climate change and natural disasters;

·       limit the negative impacts of alcohol consumption and improve the procurement and management of medicines.

The operation provides US$5 million as an upfront development policy grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries, and an IDA grant of US$8.7 million available for disbursement under the Cat DDO in the event of a natural disaster.

Contacts:

Sydney: Ben Brighouse, +61 433 028 405, bbrighouse@worldbank.org

Washington: Marcela Sanchez-Bender, +1 (202) 473-5863, msanchezbender@worldbank.org


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