SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2.06 million regional technical assistance project, supported by the Government of Australia, to boost aid coordination in the Pacific by expanding ADB’s field presence in the region.
The new assistance will allow ADB to continue to operate existing ADB Development Coordination Offices in Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, which were established under an initial project in 2008. This second phase will establish similar offices in Cook Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. In these countries, ADB has been supporting infrastructure planning and services; water supply; renewable energy and energy policy; public financial management; and public sector reform.
The Australian Agency for International Development grant will also fund the recruitment of an infrastructure specialist for the Development Coordination Office in Honiara, Solomon Islands, and an administrative assistant in the World Bank Country Liaison Office in Kiribati to support ADB operations in country.
The Development Coordination Offices in Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu facilitate close and culturally sensitive contact, boosting the impact of ADB’s field presence. ADB also helps these countries implement their national plans and strategies.
“The success of the Development Coordination Offices in the Pacific speaks for itself,” said Kerry Groves, Senior Policy and Aid Effectiveness Specialist from ADB’s Pacific Department. “We can see this in the first technical assistance project, which strengthened ADB’s relationships with key stakeholders, improved government aid coordination, increased harmonization of aid by ADB and strengthened the relationship between ADB and the World Bank.”
The Development Coordination Offices will work with ADB Headquarters in Manila, ADB field offices in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Australia, and World Bank Country Liaison Offices in the region. This relationship allows for in-depth, in country aid coordination and policy dialogue between governments and their development partners.
ADB will be the executing agency for the technical assistance which will be implemented over two years.