Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Australia have approved an additional $2.39 million in technical assistance support to continue public sector management reforms in the Pacific as it recovers from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
ADB is providing $2 million and Australia $390,000 (in equivalent A$500,000) in additional financing to the program which was established in June 2020 to support the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
“The additional financing from the Government of Australia is highly appreciated and will be used to expand the scope of the assistance to Fiji where reforms will focus on strengthening public financial management practices in Fiji,” said Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office in Fiji Masayuki Tachiiri.
ADB’s additional financing will provide targeted assistance on specialized areas including economic modelling, revenue diversification, fiscal adjustment plans, and economic recovery road maps, supporting the countries’ efforts for economic recovery from COVID-19. The program will run until 2024 and was originally funded with $1.5 million from ADB and $650,000 from the Government of New Zealand.
Among its achievements, the program has helped to prepare an economic and social impact assessment of COVID-19 on the Tongan economy, which supported the country’s efforts to develop economic and social protections to manage the impact on the community, while monitoring the impact of the stimulus package. In Kiribati, the program helped to develop guidelines and templates for in-year fiscal update reporting and a tracking and monitoring tool for the management of state-owned enterprises. In the Cook Islands and Kiribati, the assistance was used to develop guidelines on medium-term planning and economic modelling and deliver training to build the capacity of central oversight agencies on macroeconomic and fiscal management.
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 region.