Samoa, World Bank in discussion
The World Bank and the Government of Samoa are currently in talks on the next cycle of support.
This is according to World Bank director (strategy operations), Xiaoqing Yu, during a groundbreaking ceremony at Tuanaimato yesterday to signal the start of construction on the National Emergencies Operations Center (NEOC).
She said the World Bank is in consultation with the Samoa Government on their priorities and added that the country has a lot of needs.
“We are in the process of planning our next cycle of support and it’s in very early days. At the moment we are listening to the Government about their priorities, and of course their needs are very high so we have to be selective and in terms of the prioritization process – where there is consultation between ministries. It is also critical because the projects will go on for quite a few years,” she said.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer in an interview, she said she got into the country last weekend and had the opportunity to inspect projects.
“It is my first visit in Samoa, and spent a few days here seeing a lot of projects, and will be leaving Samoa today (last Wednesday).”
The World Bank has been providing support to Pacific Island governments including Samoa, Ms. Yu added, for disaster preparedness and response.
She commended the Samoan Government on the opening of the NEOC and said it will be among the first in the region.
“I congratulate the Government of Samoa for reaching this milestone, and for being among the first in the Pacific region in making your response center climate and disaster resilient itself.”
According to Ms. Yu, the frequency in the extreme weather condition is triggering floods, drought and tropical cyclone in the world, and the Pacific including Samoa remains vulnerable.
“We are living in a world of increased frequency level and severity of natural disasters such as floods, drought, and tropical cyclone like many Pacific Islands countries. Samoa is highly exposed to climate change impacts and has been devastated by disasters such as the tsunami in 2009, cyclone in 2012 and even last year.
“NEOC is an important component of Samoa’s coordinated emergency response and will be a major asset of Samoa. I hope that this will strengthen the government’s response to disaster management,” she added.