NADI,16 OCTOBER 2017 (ADB)– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will more than double the level of climate financing it will mobilise for its Pacific developing member countries to over US$500 million between 2017 and 2020.
ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff made this announcement as ADB signed two agreements: first with the Government of Fiji for a US$42 million loan to improve water and sanitation services to over 300,000 people in the greater Suva area, while ensuring that critical infrastructures are climate resilient. Second is with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a US$31 million grant to the country through ADB.
Apart from Groff, signatories for the two agreements were Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy and Climate Change for Fiji, and Howard Bamsey, GCF Executive Director. The agreements were signed during the climate change discussions in Fiji in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23), which Fiji will chair.
“ADB has been supporting Fiji to improve water and sanitation for more than 20 years,” said Groff. “With this new investment, we expect to assist Fiji expand water supply by 40,000 cubic meters per day, ensure 98% of households in Suva have access to clean water, and expand the sanitation network for additional 4,500 households to access reticulated sewerage by 2023.”
“This project aims to improve access to sustainable water supply and sewerage services to Fijians in the greater Suva area, taking into account the increasing population and the need for more resilient infrastructure. Fiji appreciates the financial and technical assistance provided by ADB and GCF and thanks them for recognizing the importance of this project,” said Sayed-Khaiyum. “Access to financing for such projects, which consider adaptation and the effects of climate change, is a key objective for Fiji’s Presidency of COP 23.”
“GCF financing will assist Fiji move the main water intake for Suva upstream to respond to increasing salt water intrusion,” said Bamsey. “GCF is pleased to have now approved almost $280 million of investments for Pacific island countries, including investments in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.”
The Fiji Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Investment Program was among the first group of projects approved by the GCF Board at its meeting in Zambia in 2015. The investment will also be cofinanced by the European Investment Bank.
During his visit to Fiji, Groff met with Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells…..PACNEWS [/restrict]