ADB to Help Strengthen Disaster Resilience of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tonga
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (30 September 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $24 million in contingent disaster financing for the second phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program, aimed to help strengthen and boost disaster resilience efforts in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, and Tonga.
ADB’s assistance will include a $3 million policy-based loan and a $3 million grant to Solomon Islands, and grants worth $6 million each to FSM, the Marshall Islands, and Tonga. All the grants are financed from the Asian Development Fund—ADB’s grant-based development financing vehicle. The policy-based loan comes from ADB’s ordinary capital resources.
Following Cyclone Gita in February 2018, Tonga drew down its available financing from the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program within a few days following the disaster. Cyclone Gita provided an immediate proof of concept for the program, originally approved in December 2017 for Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu, and the lessons learned have been reflected in the design of the program’s second phase. The second phase will provide a second round of contingent disaster financing for Tonga, along with three new countries namely FSM, the Marshall Islands, and Solomon Islands.
“Based on the success of the first phase of the program, the second phase will support policy actions in disaster risk management and provide a source of rapidly disbursing finance for timely disaster response and early recovery,” said ADB Climate Change Specialist for the Pacific Ms. Hanna Uusimaa.
The policy actions supported under the program’s second phase focus on strengthening policy, governance, and institutional arrangements for disaster risk management; improving investment planning processes and tools; and expanding disaster risk financing in participating countries. Eligibility to withdraw loan and grant proceeds is based on achieving prior disaster resilience-related policy actions, but disbursements will be triggered when a state of disaster or emergency is declared.
The program operates under the guidance of the region’s own frameworks for resilient development. It also addresses risks pertaining to disaster events that would normally exhaust annual contingency budgets or emergency funds but may not be cost-effectively covered by insurance.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.