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PRESS RELEASEJune 19, 2022

US$24 million boost for Samoa’s economic recovery

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2022 The World Bank has made available a combined total of US$23.7 million (WST63 million) in grant funding to Samoa to boost support for its recovery.

Although Samoa remained COVID-19-free until early 2022, the country operated under a State of Emergency since March 2020, triggered by the pandemic. In March 2022, Samoa recorded its first community transmission, and as of June 13, 2022, the country has reached its highest number of cases at 14,376 community cases and 28 COVID-19 related deaths. With unprecedented social and economic impacts felt across the country, Samoa’s tourism industry came to a standstill and generated knock-on effects on other sectors.  Households have felt the full brunt of the economic impacts of the pandemic, with the poorest and vulnerable most severely affected.  The economic fallout from the war in Ukraine – such as rising commodity prices - have further exacerbated an already difficult time.

In response to these urgent needs, the World Bank has committed US$14 million (WST37.2 million) through the second of a two-part resilience development project series. This is in addition to US$9.7 million (WST25.8 million) disbursed in May 2022 under the Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) of the first resilience project. Samoa has drawn on similar funding in the wake of the measles outbreak in 2019, and in March 2020 to bolster the government’s financial capacity to support COVID-19 preparedness and response.

“The double economic shocks that have hit Samoa in recent years – including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine – have had a significant impact on businesses, the tourism and health sectors and on Samoan families’ livelihoods,” said Lasse Melgaard, World Bank Resident Representative for the South Pacific. “We are committed to supporting Samoa’s recovery through this financing to bolster the country’s economic, climate and social resilience.”

“This support from the World Bank will strengthen Samoa’s capacity to respond to and recover from the recent disasters especially the pandemic,” said Hon. Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molio’o, the Samoan Minister of Finance. “It’s also important in being able to better prepare for future disasters, encourage foreign and private sector investments, create jobs, and harness community resilience to public health emergencies in the future.”

This grant support is funded through the International Development Association (IDA) - the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most in need countries.



Vika Waradi
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Tom Perry
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