ADB Grant to Help Nauru Strengthen Social Service Delivery

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting the Government of Nauru to improve social service delivery by strengthening their public financial management.

ADB’s Board of Directors has approved a $4 million grant for the Nauru Public Financial Management Reform Program. The grant is sourced from ADB’s Special Funds resources.

Nauru faces many development challenges with almost no private sector, no banking services, little arable land, limited fresh water, and high level levels of debt. Education outcomes are improving but are still poor by international standards and have contributed to high rates of youth employment. Nauru has some of the highest rates of non-communicable diseases in the world such as diabetes and heart disease.

“The Public Financial Management Reform Program will help the Government of Nauru deliver improved social services - health and education in particular, “said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia. “A healthy and better educated population will be able to take greater advantage of job opportunities both locally and overseas.”

The program which will lead to greater participation of Nauruans in income-generating activities focuses on: stronger public financial management, more rigorous corporate governance and economic performance of selected state-owned enterprises, and will also assist the government to develop a comprehensive legal and policy framework to facilitate more equitable access to basic social services.

Nauru, located in the central Pacific just south of the equator, is one of the world’s smallest countries with a population of about 9,000 people. It is one of the three great rock phosphate islands in the Pacific Ocean, with a total land area of only 21 square kilometers.