ADB, Samoa Implement Public Sector Reforms and Cyclone Reconstruction

APIA, SAMOA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Samoa have signed a policy-based grant worth $14 million to help the Government in its efforts to achieve long-term fiscal stability, improve the country’s growth prospects, and reduce the vulnerability of Samoa’s economy to fiscal and climatic shocks.

Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, Minister of Finance, and Adrian Ruthenberg, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office in Fiji, participated in today’s grant signing ceremony for the Public Sector Financial Management Program. The Ministry of Finance is the executing agency.

“We are delighted to work with the Government of Samoa to help them implement a public sector financial management reform program that is entirely homegrown,” Mr. Ruthenberg said.

The $14 million grant, sourced from the Asian Development Fund, will help finance the program. The grant will be disbursed in two tranches: $10 million in fiscal year 2014 and $4 million in fiscal year 2015.

The grant funding supports Government’s ongoing financial management reforms and will focus on improving state-owned enterprise performance by reforming corporate governance and improving public financial management systems through strengthening internal audit processes. This first tranche will also support improved public debt management, through a medium-term debt management reform plan.

The ADB assistance has a special focus on climate resilience. Although climate-proofing roads, bridges, and buildings can increase investment costs, it will reduce the budgetary burden in future years when climatic shocks occur. Stronger climate resilience will also boost investor confidence, bringing positive impacts on growth and revenues.

The second tranche will support the development of a town plan for Apia, which will incorporate suitable zoning in floodplain areas and disaster risk reduction elements in all new construction.

Samoa has received $186.2 million in loans and $23.5 million in grants since joining ADB in 1966.