Tuvalu and ADB

ADB’s priorities in Tuvalu include improving maritime facilities, strengthening disaster resilience, advancing renewable energy, improving water and sanitation, promoting health, and sustaining prudent fiscal management.

Economic forecasts for Tuvalu

Figures are based on the latest edition of ADB's Asian Development Outlook, which analyzes economic and development issues in Asia and the Pacific. This includes forecasting the inflation and gross domestic product growth rates of economies throughout the region.


Comparative economic forecasts

The latest available economic data for Tuvalu compared to countries in the Pacific.


Policy Challenge—Responding to Rising Sea Levels

Sea levels in the Pacific are rising faster than the global average. A 2022 World Meteorological Organization report showed that water levels were rising about 4.2 millimeters (mm) per year in the Pacific, above the global mean rate of 3.4mm. It has become clear that climate change impact is increasingly affecting Central Pacific economies, with more than 75% of their populations living in low coastal areas. For example, most of Kiribati’s 33 islands sit less than two meters above sea level. Tuvalu’s highest point is about 4.5 meters above sea level. Although Nauru’s average elevation is 36 meters, about 80% of the population live in coastal areas less than 10 meters above sea level.

Sea-level rise is a threat to livelihoods and food security. Rising sea levels in the Pacific have increased coastal erosion and inundation, contributing to the loss of productive agricultural lands and freshwater. They also affect marine and coastal environments that are essential sources of livelihood.

Urgent action and permanent solutions are needed. Building coral-rock seawalls is a short-term solution, but they are easily destroyed by high tides. Some communities have relocated inland, and efforts have been made to expand mangrove forests to reduce soil erosion and alleviate the impact of storm surges. Some people migrate to other countries. For instance, around 20% of Tuvalu’s population have already relocated, many to New Zealand under the Pacific Access Category. In 2014, Kiribati purchased land in Fiji for possible relocation, but is now using it for food production. In 2023, the “Falepili Union” treaty was agreed between Australia and Tuvalu, providing an avenue for “migration with dignity.”

As Central Pacific economies act, support from the global community is needed. Tuvalu’s Future Now Project has launched three initiatives to help preserve the country’s identity: (i) lobbying the global community to address climate change solutions; (ii) securing legal territorial and maritime boundaries; and (iii) creating a digital nation. In 2021, the Nauru government launched the Higher Ground Initiative (HGI)—a long-term plan to safeguard people’s livelihoods. Supported by several development partners, the HGI intends to restore land at higher elevations (mostly former phosphate mining areas) and build new homes and key infrastructure for planned domestic migration. The government described HGI as their “single most important climate adaptation action.” In Kiribati, initiatives have been discussed with development partners, including the development of integrated flood management plans as part of infrastructure development. Climate-proofing will be an essential feature of infrastructure projects to improve resilience and reduce risks associated with sea-level rise and other climate change impacts. Continuous monitoring and studies to enhance understanding of rising sea levels and their impact will support policy design to effectively address this pressing issue.

More resources

Asian Development Bank and Tuvalu: Fact Sheet

Asian Development Bank and Tuvalu: Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheets summarize ADB's partnerships with member economies, providing key facts and figures and an overview of activities and future directions.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2024

Asian Development Outlook

The Asian Development Outlook analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia.

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023

Key Indicators

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific publication presents data regarding the economic, financial, social, and environmental situations in a broad range of countries across the region.

Basic Statistics 2024

Basic Statistics

The Basic Statistics brochure presents data on selected social, economic, and SDG indicators such as population, poverty, annual growth rate of gross domestic product, inflation, and government finance for economies in Asia and the Pacific.