World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Tonga: Third operation to support economic resilience

Tonga: Third operation to support economic resilience, transparent public spending and workers’ security

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2019—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$5.5 million grant for the last in a series of three operations that are supporting the government of Tonga to improve the management of public finances, enhance government accountability and encourage a more dynamic and inclusive economy.

“The government of Tonga is continuing its work to deliver real reform that will bring better outcomes for people across our Kingdom – guided by our Strategic Development Framework 2015-2025, which was created in partnership with civil society and the private sector,” said Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Tonga’s Minister for Finance. “The latest reforms under this World Bank-supported operation will help ensure that the rights of workers – particularly women – are better protected, that improvements to the management of public finances continue, and that opportunities are created for private sector participation in the operation of the Nuku’alofa port.”

Policy reforms supported by the Third Inclusive Growth Development Policy Operation include new revenue and customs legislation to strengthen revenue collection, streamline administration and lower transaction costs; a stronger public sector remuneration framework and performance management system; and improvements to public sector accounting and financial reporting policies and systems.

The operation also supports the submission to parliament of the nation’s first Employment Relations Bill that will enshrine fundamental employee rights into law and address gender disparities in the workplace. Updates to foreign investment regulations will ensure clearer requirements for foreign investment applications, while a new operational arrangement at the Nuku’alofa port will see the private sector take a bigger role in the running of the facility and allow the public enterprise to focus on its core functions of port management and regulation.



“We are pleased to continue to support Tonga as the government works to finalize a three-year program of significant reforms. These reforms have delivered greater transparency and planning around public finances, a more inclusive and competitive private sector, and crucial recovery support following Tropical Cyclone Gita in 2018,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

The operation will consist of a US$5.5 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries. World Bank support provided through the three operations now totals US$22.5 million, which includes US$10 million in additional financing provided to support Tonga’s recovery and reconstruction effort following the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

Several development partners are expected to provide budgetary support to Tonga as part of a coordinated policy framework, including the government of Australia, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the government of New Zealand, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Asian Development Bank; and the European Union.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Collective Punishment In Venezuela

Yemen, Venezuela, Iran, Gaza… beyond the particulars of their suffering, each of these countries currently share one thing in common: their ordinary citizens are being subjected to collective punishment, in order to bring about regime change. More>>

Widely Ignored Report: 40,000 Dead Venezuelans Under US Sanctions

A new report on April 25 by a respected think tank has estimated that US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in August 2017 have caused around 40,000 deaths... Additional sanctions imposed in January 2019 are likely to lead to tens of thousands of further deaths. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Left-Wing Victory In Spain

Portugal and Spain continue to be striking exceptions to the rise of rightwing populism in Europe, a fact that’s commonly explained by the relatively recent experience both countries have had of living under fascist regimes. (Franco in Spain, and Salazar in Portugal.)

That horrific past still seems very much alive in the minds of voters... More>>

Easter Bombings Kill Hundreds: UN, World Leaders Condemn Sri Lanka Attacks

More than 200 have been killed and hundreds injured by a series of explosions inside churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, as Christians gathered for services to celebrate Easter.. More>>

ALSO: