MANILA, PHILIPPINES (18 September 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is expanding its presence in 11 Pacific island countries to enhance the impact of its growing program of assistance in the subregion.

The expansion, which was recently approved by ADB’s Board of Directors, will involve the conversion of four extended missions—in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu—into country offices, and the establishment of seven new country offices in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu.

“Engaging full-time staff in our 11 smallest Pacific member countries is consistent with the recent scaling up of ADB operations in the Pacific,” said ADB Principal Operations Coordination Specialist for the Pacific Mr. Paul Curry. “The new country offices will increase ADB's responsiveness to the development needs of the subregion and will better support aid coordination and aid effectiveness.”

Across the Pacific, ADB is significantly scaling up financing to help developing member countries achieve sustainable economic and social development, while enhancing climate and disaster resilience. ADB’s overall assistance to the Pacific has doubled every 5 years since 2005, and now stands at $2.9 billion. Total assistance is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2020.

The new country offices will allow ADB to have more regular contact and substantive communication with government and development partners, enhance donor coordination, and improve project implementation. ADB will have staff posted in each Pacific developing member country by the end of 2019.

The country offices will serve as extensions of ADB’s two Pacific regional offices in Fiji and Australia.

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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