FUNAFUTI, TUVALU (14 September 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $15.4 million grant as additional financing for the ongoing Tuvalu Outer Island Maritime Infrastructure Project.

“Improving connectivity and maritime safety between the outer islands and the main island of Funafuti is critical to expand access to essential services and drive economic growth,” said ADB Pacific Department Director for Transport, Energy, and Natural Resources Mr. Olly Norojono. “Climate resilience is being incorporated in project design and operations.”

The additional grant will finance the construction of a harbor in Niutao to higher standards of climate resilience. The ongoing project, approved by ADB in 2016, is financing the construction of a similar harbor in Nukulaelae and boat ramps in Niutao and Nanumaga.

The overall project, which is focused on the construction of small-scale maritime port facilities in the outer islands, will make the transfer of people and goods safer and more efficient. The project will also help develop Tuvalu’s transport, fishery, and tourism sectors.

Tuvalu is a fragile microstate consisting of nine low-lying atolls. The country has a total area of 26 square kilometers and most of its 11,000 people live on the main island, Funafuti. Building and maintaining fiscal resilience and upgrading maritime infrastructure are key priorities for the government.

ADB has supported Tuvalu since 1993. As of end 2017, ADB had committed loans and grants totaling $32.3 million and technical assistance projects worth $8.6 million.

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 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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