February 1, 2008

ADB to review assistance to region

www.fijitimes.com - Thursday, January 31, 2008

Update: 11.38am CITING coups and civil unrest that continue to hamper development in the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is fine-tuning its development assistance in the region, according to a report carried by Pacnews.

''The Pacific region continues to display the symptoms of a fragile development process. Economic growth generally remains low,'' says Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB's Pacific Department.

''Civil unrest, political instability, and poor law-and-order continue to hinder the region's development,'' he said.

The midterm review of ADB's Pacific Strategy 2005-2009 affects the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Economic growth in the Pacific Islands was modest in 2007, according to ADB's flagship annual economic report, Asian Development Outlook.

The Pacific economies continue to lag behind Asia, and much of the Pacific region's population is exposed to a decline in living standards when economic conditions weaken.

The total level of approved ADB assistance has increased substantially under its Pacific Strategy programme to US$462.4m in 2005-2007, or a 141 percent increase above the US$191.7 million in the preceding three year.

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