APIA, SAMOA (9 December 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Samoa today signed a $5 million grant to help fund the preparation of ADB-supported land transport projects in Samoa.

The Minister of Finance Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molio’o and ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez signed the agreement, which will fund assessments, planning, and capacity building to implement land transport projects. ADB is providing $5 million from its Asian Development Fund for the grant, while the Government of Samoa is contributing $500,000.

“Using ADB’s project readiness financing (PRF), we can help Samoa better deliver land transport projects and support the government in carrying out project preparatory activities and help manage any technical and implementation issues upfront,” said Ms. Gutierrez.

“The government is committed to ensuring that the foundations required to empower communities, share prosperity, and build resilience are in place. The road network is Samoa’s most valuable infrastructure and is essential to the country’s economic development, contributing to growing domestic and international trade and commerce,” said Ms. Mulipola. “The government recognizes that building resilience or adapting to climate change impacts is central to our sustainable development and survival for the present and future generations.”

Samoa consists of the two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i and seven small volcanic islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. External and internal transport costs are relatively high because of its remoteness from major international markets. Apart from the ferry service between Upolu and Savai’i and boats to smaller islands, the population relies on road transport. Samoa’s national road network, which serves an estimated 16,500 registered vehicles, totals 1,262 kilometers.  It enables the safe and efficient movement of people and goods and provides access to key social services such as schools and health facilities. It also ensures access to vulnerable communities during emergencies.

Within the framework of planned road and bridge projects in the country, the PRF will identify investment scope and advance procurement actions and boost the capacity of executing and implementing agencies involved.

The PRF is aligned with the government’s pathway for the development of Samoa under the theme “Empowering communities, building resilience and inspiring growth”.

It is also aligned with ADB’s Strategy 2030 and its focus on strengthening connectivity and access in small island developing states and with ADB’s Pacific Approach, which will help strengthen their resilience by preparing for and responding to delivering sustainable services as well as focus on tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience.

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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