ADB, Samoa Sign Grants to Help Strengthen Disaster Resilience and Upgrade Central Cross Island Road

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APIA, SAMOA (8 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Samoa today signed grant agreements for the ADB-supported Samoa Central Cross Island Road Upgrading Project and the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program.

At the virtual signing ceremony, Samoa’s Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Sili Epa Tuioti signed both grant agreements sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund. The $10 million contingent disaster financing (CDF) grant will help strengthen Samoa’s resilience to disasters caused by natural hazards and health-related emergencies. The project agreement with the Land Transport Authority, for the $40 million grant, which will fund the upgrade of one of Samoa’s most important roads, was signed by Minister of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure Tapunu’u Papaliitele Unasa Niko Lee Hang. ADB Pacific Department Director General Leah Gutierrez signed both grant agreements and the project agreement for ADB.

“This signing confirms the first-ever ADB-supported major road project in Samoa,” said Ms. Gutierrez. “ADB's support through the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program will provide a timely and predictable source of emergency financing following natural and health-related disasters,” said Ms. Gutierrez.

The Central Cross Island Road Upgrading Project will upgrade the Central Cross Island Road in Upolu island by building 8.4 kilometers of footpaths and establishing 18 streetlights, 18 safe bus stops, and 11 pedestrian crossings.

On 24 November, ADB approved $94 million in CDF for the third phase of the Pacific Disaster Resilience Program to help boost disaster resilience in the region. Samoa is among the ADB Pacific members that drew down the funds on their CDF Programs for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response. Samoa has made significant progress in strengthening the resilience of institutions and communities through policy actions under phase 3. The CDF grant will facilitate the rapid implementation of priority actions and reduce the indirect economic and social costs of physical losses during disasters.

“I would like to extend the government’s appreciation to ADB for this timely contingent disaster financing. The investment will help us navigate and strengthen our response to the evolving COVID-19 crisis and building resilience for future natural disasters,” said Mr. Tuioti.

“7000 residents and hundreds of businesses will benefit from the upgrade and climate-proofing of the Cross Island Road—one of the country’s most economically important roads," said Mr. Hang.

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.

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