The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $3 million grant to increase access to disaster-resilient clean energy for consumers in Palau.
The grant comes from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, a trust fund established in 2000 by the Government of Japan to provide direct assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable group of ADB’s developing member countries while fostering long-term social and economic development.
“This project, targeting disaster-resilient clean energy financing for low-income and women beneficiaries, is the first of its kind to be implemented in a Pacific developing country,” said Energy Specialist of ADB’s Pacific Department Rafayil Abbasov. “The project will have wider impacts through the demonstration of financial solutions to boost access to disaster-resilient clean energy and may be used as a model to replicate regionally.”
The ADB-supported Palau Disaster Resilient Clean Energy Financing Project will provide about 900 eligible low-income households and female borrowers improved access to affordable disaster-resilient clean energy financing. The project, through the National Development Bank of Palau as the financial intermediary, will extend loans to borrowers including women, and conduct awareness-raising activities, such as public campaigns and workshops.
Increasing the resilience of clean energy infrastructure has become an urgent priority for Palau. Since 2012, the country has experienced several natural disasters that caused cumulative losses of more than $50 million. Low-income households spend an unreasonably high proportion of their disposable income on energy.
Impacts of the project include increasing consumer access to affordable disaster-resilient clean energy, boosting the resiliency and preparedness of Palau communities to climate change and disasters, and promoting women’s self-sufficiency and entry into the formal sector.
The project is aligned with ADB’s Strategy 2030 operational priorities of strengthening governance and institutional capacity, addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities, accelerating progress in gender equality, making cities more livable, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability.
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.