MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Kiribati today signed a $5 million grant agreement to help the Pacific island nation expedite reforms to aid its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement was signed at the ADB Headquarters in Manila by ADB Executive Director Rachel Thompson, on behalf of the Government of Kiribati, and ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez. The policy grant was approved by the ADB Board on 21 November.
“This program will help Kiribati reinforce public financial management and fiscal sustainability, including through strengthened monitoring of state-owned enterprises,” said Ms. Gutierrez. “The program will also enhance female labor force participation and uphold private sector development.”
Reforms under the program will focus on strengthening public financial management and enhancing the enabling environment for private sector development. Protection of Kiribati’s environmental resources to allow for inclusive and sustainable growth is the third reform area supported by the program.
The Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Recovery Program will be financed through policy-based grants. A second subprogram, following the implementation of the reforms, is expected to be in 2025.
The program, which built on previous policy-based operations of ADB and its development partners, was developed in coordination with the World Bank, the governments of Australia and New Zealand, and the European Union.
The grant is financed by the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries.
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.