HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Australia have approved financing for sweeping transport upgrades designed to deliver safer and more climate-resilient infrastructure and to improve access to markets and services for rural communities.
ADB is extending a $21 million loan, with the Government of Australia providing two grants totaling $27.8 million, for the transport infrastructure upgrade program, which is a key priority of the Government of the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands has earmarked $34.4 million in counterpart support for the program, which is a pillar of its National Transport Plan.
“This is ADB’s first transport sector results-based lending program and the first in the Pacific that will disburse financing not based on works and services rendered but based directly on results delivered on the ground,” said Olly Norojono, Director of ADB’s Pacific Department. “It aligns and harmonizes government and development partner support to ensure the effective use of resources for the country’s long-term development goals.”
The program will support the rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of transport infrastructure for all users, giving a boost to safety and allowing the climate-proofing of roads, bridges and wharves.
The Government of Solomon Islands has set a target to fully restore and maintain its transport infrastructure by 2030. This comprises about 1,500 kilometers of sealed and unsealed roads, and 80 wharfs. The proposed program will support the government to achieve this target, by building better designed and climate resilient infrastructure.
Separately, ADB has also approved a $5 million grant to support an ongoing government reform program designed to strengthen fiscal management, boost growth, improve the delivery of public services, and create a stronger enabling environment for the expansion of the private sector.
“Both the transport program, and the economic and fiscal reform program complement each other as part of ADB’s overall drive to support inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth ,” said Hayden Everett, ADB’s Solomon Islands Senior Country Specialist.
Since Solomon Islands joined ADB in 1973, the country has received over $275 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.