MANILA, PHILIPPINES (4 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved additional financing of $20 million for the ongoing Tuvalu Outer Island Maritime Infrastructure Project.

The $20 million grant comes from ADB’s Asian Development Fund and will help to build a small workboat harbor on the island of Nui, part of an existing program building safe, secure, and efficient maritime infrastructure in Tuvalu’s outer islands.

“ADB is utilizing its extensive experience in the maritime sector to boost maritime services and infrastructure in the outer islands,” said ADB Transport Specialist for the Pacific Juan Gonzalez. “This additional financing will improve maritime safety, accessibility, and connectivity to help deliver vital socioeconomic benefits for the people of Nui.”

At present, only some of Tuvalu’s outer islands can safely receive the workboats needed to ferry people and cargo from ship to shore. Because of the lack of workboat harbors in the outer islands, the transfer of passengers and the navigation of ships through channels is dangerous and has resulted in fatalities or economic losses. ADB’s project is building small workboat harbors in Nukulaelae and Niutao and rehabilitating boat ramps in Niutao and Nanumaga while strengthening the operation and maintenance of these harbors and developing a transport sector master plan for the country.

With a population of about 11,600 people, Tuvalu is one of the smallest and most remote of ADB’s members with an economy heavily reliant on maritime transport to access goods and essential social services.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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