ADB to Support Improved Connectivity in Kiribati's Outer Islands

News Release | 1 July 2020

TARAWA, KIRIBATI (1 July 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced the approval of a $12 million grant to help fund improved safety and resilience of transport connectivity in Kiribati’s Gilbert Group of islands: Abaiang, Beru, Nonouti, and Tabiteuea South.

“The overall objective of the Kiribati Outer Islands Transport Infrastructure Investment Project is to better connect those living in the outer islands to economic opportunities and critical health and education services,” said the Director of the Transport Division of ADB’s Pacific Department Dong Kyu Lee. “The project continues ADB and World Bank’s cooperation in Kiribati.”

The atoll nation of Kiribati is low-lying and highly vulnerable to climate change and disaster risks. Comprised of 33 small islands, Kiribati is one of the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world. The government prioritized the four Gilbert Group of islands because they either have no infrastructure, or if they do, it is the most dilapidated in the outer islands.

The project, cofinanced by ADB and the World Bank Group, will improve the safety of interisland navigation by providing ship to shore navigation aids; boost the resilience of outer islands access infrastructure by building a jetty, boat ramps, and shelters, as well as rehabilitating island-crossing causeways; and build institutional capacity to implement and maintain transport investments.

Since 1974, ADB has committed loans and grants totaling $96.97 million and technical assistance worth $20.million for Kiribati. ADB supports maintaining fiscal sustainability, improving the business climate, upgrading water and sanitation services, rehabilitating roads, and addressing the effects of climate change.

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.