Govt. signs $126 million grants with A.D.B.
The Government has signed grant agreements with the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) to the tune of US$50million (T$126million).
The grants were signed during a virtual signing ceremony involving the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, the Minister of Works, Transport, Infrastructure, Papali'i Niko Lee Hang and the A.D.B’s Pacific Department Director General, Leah Gutierrez.
The first grant of US$10 million (T$25m) was disaster financing (C.D.F.) to help strengthen Samoa’s resilience to disasters caused by natural hazards and health-related emergencies, a statement from A.D.B. said.
“I would like to extend the government’s appreciation to A.D.B. for this timely contingent disaster financing,” Sili said.
“The investment will help us navigate and strengthen our response to the evolving COVID-19 crisis and building resilience for future natural disasters.”
The second project agreement was signed by Minister Papali’i, which was a US$40 million (T$101m) grant to fund the upgrade of one of Samoa’s most important roads. The Central Cross Island Road Upgrading Project will upgrade the Cross Island Road by building 8.4 kilometers of footpaths and establishing 18 streetlights, 18 safe bus stops, and 11 pedestrian crossings.
“7000 residents and hundreds of businesses will benefit from the upgrade and climate-proofing of the Cross Island Road—one of the country’s most economically important roads," Papali’i said.
According to Ms. Gutierrez, the grant is the first A.D.B.-supported major road project in Samoa,
“A.D.B's support through the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program will provide a timely and predictable source of emergency financing following natural and health-related disasters,” said Ms. Gutierrez.
On 24 November, A.D.B. approved US$94 million in CDF for the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Programme to help boost disaster resilience in the region, the statement from the bank said.
“Samoa is among the ADB Pacific members that drew down the funds on their CDF Programs for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response. Samoa has made significant progress in strengthening the resilience of institutions and communities through policy actions under phase 3.
“The CDF grant will facilitate the rapid implementation of priority actions and reduce the indirect economic and social costs of physical losses during disasters.”