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World Bank Boost For Kiribati’s Economic And Climate-resilience

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2023 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$10 million of new support for Kiribati to strengthen its resilience to both economic and climate-related risks.

The Kiribati First Resilient Growth Development Policy Operation with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) includes a grant of US$8 million and a further grant of US$2 million to be available immediately in the event of a major crisis or natural disaster.

Kiribati is one of the world’s most remote and climate-vulnerable countries. With droughts, floods, storm surges and rising sea levels all regularly impacting Kiribati, building resilience to these and other impacts will be vital for Kiribati’s future, together with work to diversify the country’s revenue beyond the fisheries sector.

The Kiribati First Resilient Growth Development Policy Operation with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) will support Government-led environmental policy reforms, that include amending environmental legislation to reduce waste and pollution, and conserving marine and land resources. These reforms will be especially critical in the densely-populated capital, South Tarawa. Additional reforms will also strengthen planning for climate adaptation and natural disasters through new regulations that include identifying evacuation centers and early warning systems.

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It will also help to improve Kiribati’s fiscal transparency, diversify government revenues, improve financial supervision, and strengthen the operations of State-Owned Enterprises including the Public Utilities Board.

“This new support to Kiribati is about helping the country protect its precious environment, while building a more stable, resilient economy; one that ensures the country can look beyond the next budget cycle and make longer term decisions,” said Stefano Mocci, the World Bank’s Country Manager for the South Pacific.

This US$10m support is funded through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.

The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific and Papua New Guinea, supporting 91 projects totaling US$2.81 billion in commitments in sectors including agriculture, aviation and transport, climate resilience and adaptation, economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, macroeconomic management, rural development, telecommunications, and tourism.

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