Samoa benefits from Asian Development Bank financing

By Ivamere Nataro 10 March 2019, 12:00AM

Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations in Samoa started in 1966, and as of March, 9, 2018, Samoa has benefited from $189.3 million in loans, $130.87 million in grants, and $32.16 million in technical assistance. 

The International Monetary Fund, in their 2018 Article IV consultation on Samoa, said ADB's active portfolio of six projects in Samoa at end of 2017 was $164.5 million, including $96 million in ADB financing, and $68.5 million in administered co-financing. 

ADB's operation adopt a harmonised approach for development coordination and maintaining the focus of its Pacific Approach 2016-2020, targeting improvement of growth prospects and living standards, especially for disadvantaged members of the community. 

The report highlights that Samoa has received ADB regional technical assistance for economic management, energy efficiency, statistics and private sector development, including SOE reforms, land reforms and secured transaction reforms. 

ADB continues to assist Samoa in a number of sectors including new regional TA activities, providing technical assistance for the development of the private sector, and has been the lead partner in the energy sector, as for more than 20 years ADB has financed almost two thirds of the generation capacity in Samoa. 

The power sector expansion project mobilised $100 million in financing of which $57 million was in co-financing, said the report. A further $27 million financing was mobilised for renewable energy rehabilitation and development. 

Other areas of focus include ICT connectivity - the Tui Samoa cable, which was landed in February last year, support for agribusiness financing, and policy reforms supported by a series of policy-based operations. 

Under the ADB-funded Pacific regional disaster resilience programme, which was approved in December 2017, Samoa has access to $6 million in contingent financing. 

The report said the Government decided against drawing down the funds available (grant and concessional loans) when Cyclone Gita caused extensive flooding in Apia in February last year because of the minimal damage caused by Gita. Another area is the the TA supported development legal framework, which was endorsed by the Government, for leasing of customary land and in doing so afford all the relevant parties necessary protection of rights that would normally be available under a commercial lease. 

ADB is supporting a the upgrading of the Apia port by extending the breakwater to the northside of Apia harbour, widening the shipping channel, reconfiguring the ports area. The project will also procure a mobile x-ray scanner for the Ministry of Revenue to enhance boarder security and tax compliance. 

According to the report, ADB provided a $39.78 million in Asian Development Funds grants in 2018. 

By Ivamere Nataro 10 March 2019, 12:00AM

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