Marshall Islands

ADB, Marshall Islands Sign Grant Agreement to Fund Drought Relief

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) have signed a $200,000 grant agreement to help the country tackle the effects of a severe drought.

The grant was signed at a ceremony in ADB’s headquarters in Manila involving ADB Pacific Department Director General Xianbin Yao and ADB Executive Director Gaudencio Hernandez (on behalf of the Government of the Marshall Islands). The grant is sourced from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.

“The Marshall Islands have been in the grip of a severe drought since January 2016 and this is expected to continue beyond July this year,” said Mr. Yao at the ceremony. “The grant will allow the government to address peoples’ immediate needs including clean water for drinking, cooking and hygiene, and well as food rations and health kits.”

The country’s entire population of about 50,000 has been affected by the drought and a state of disaster was declared by President Hilda Heine on 8 March. It is expected to take many months of normal rainfall to replenish ground water and to allow ground crops to fully recover.

RMI has been a member of ADB since 1990 and as of end December 2015 has received assistance of 14 loans for $92.63 million, 50 technical assistance projects for $21.48 million, and 5 grants for $11.06 million.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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