The Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management has signed grant agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to approve an amount of Vt3 Billion for Aid Assistance.
Three grants were signed yesterday at the Ministry of Finance by Minister Johnny Koanapo with ADB Development Coordinator, Nancy Wells.
The grants are:
1. ADB Grant to provide $94 Million to Boost Disaster Resilience in Pacific:
ADB has approved $94 Million in contingent disaster financing (CDF) for the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program, this is the first time ADB has provided CDF to Vanuatu.
ADB Senior Climate Change Specialist for the Pacific, Hanna Uusimaa said Phase 3 will help restore the financial resilience of the Pacific members to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“The program supports critical actions on disaster risk management, along with urgent measures required by the countries to prepare for COVID-19 and address its economic impact.”
2. ADB Grant to support Urban Service Delivery, Climate and Disaster Resilience in Vanuatu:
The Grant comes from ADB’s Asian Development Fund and will support capacity building, institutional strengthening and the construction of two-multipurpose emergency shelters that will help protect Vanuatu against the impacts of Climate Change and natural disasters.
Vanuatu ranks first globally as the economy most exposed to natural disasters and is highly exposed to geophysical hazards, including volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Port Vila is the economic gateway of Vanuatu and it is vulnerable to a range of increasingly serious Climate threats, including annual rainfall, sea-level rise, flooding, cyclones, storm surges and increased temperatures.
ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist for the Pacific, Anupma Jain said the Greater Port Vila Urban Resilience project will support existing efforts to enhance the country’s resilience to disasters caused by natural hazards and the effects of Climate Change.
“The project will benefit nearly 16,000 people in Greater Port Vila, half of them women.”
The grant will help build two multipurpose emergency shelters featuring sanitation facilities, ward offices and communal space.
3. ADB Grant to provide $16.9 Million to help Vanuatu respond to COVID-19:
The Vanuatu COVID-19 Fiscal Response Program will support the Government’s Health Preparedness and Response Plan to strengthen the Health Sector by training frontline medical workers in contact tracing and increasing public awareness of COVID-19.
The Grant will assist the Government in implementing its Economic Stimulus Program, including employment stabilization payments for businesses affected by the pandemic.
It will fund grants for women-owned micro, small and medium-sized businesses to support their operating cash flows.
Primary and Secondary schools will receive tuition relief to ensure their education remains uninterrupted. The Government will also support increased production of some Agricultural products through price subsides and transportation assistance from farms to markets.
ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said ADB’s support will help strengthen Vanuatu’s health system while also helping businesses, students, the unemployed and the agriculture sector and the economic impact of this pandemic.
This is ADB’s second grant to Vanuatu in response to COVID-19, following a grant of $1.5 Million in August from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, co-financed by the Government of Japan.
Minister Koanapo thanked ADB’s continuous support and is confident that the “level of cooperation between ADB and the Vanuatu Government will continue to grow over the years.”
The 3 grants are totaled to $30 Million / Vt3 Billion.
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 Pacific region.