New Office to Improve Pacific Infrastructure

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – A partnership of government and international development agencies announced the establishment of the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) Coordination Office, which will assist in improving infrastructure and services in Pacific island countries. PRIF partners consist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australia, New Zealand, the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and European Investment Bank.

The office will be funded by grants from the Governments of Australia and New Zealand and the ADB, with Australia providing $8.9 million, New Zealand funding $2.4 million, and ADB providing $500,000 through its Technical Assistance Special Fund. ADB will administer the grants and will host the PRIF Coordination Office in Sydney, Australia.

Since 2008, the PRIF partners have worked closely with Pacific governments to coordinate development partner assistance to improve the quality, reliability and availability of critical infrastructure in both rural and urban areas to boost economic growth, create jobs and provide access to public services.

“For the past five years, development partners have utilized the PRIF to better coordinate their support for infrastructure in the Pacific region,” said Xianbin Yao, Director General, Pacific Department at the ADB. “The new PRIF Coordination Office will take this coordination one step further and will ensure that assistance provided through loans, grants, and private sector participation is effective and better meets the needs of Pacific people.”

“The Australian Government is pleased to be a major supporter of the PRIF Coordination Office”, said Rob Tranter, First Assistant Director General at AusAID. “The Coordination Office is a practical and tangible demonstration of the commitments made by development partners to improve development effectiveness and donor coordination in the Pacific”.

The PRIF Coordination Office will provide Pacific governments with comprehensive and coordinated support and technical advice on infrastructure development and investment. The PRIF supports the national development goals of Pacific nations by helping to ensure infrastructure investments are well-designed and managed.

The PRIF covers 12 Pacific island countries and supports five economic subsectors: energy; telecommunications; road, aviation, and maritime transport; waste management; and water and sanitation.

The multi-partner investment coordination and technical assistance mechanism has so far assisted Pacific Island countries to improve roads, ports and transport systems; support reliable energy and communications infrastructure; and improve their water, sanitation and waste management systems.