WASHINGTON, December 10, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved two new projects totaling US $ 53 million to build climate change and disaster resilience in Tongan schools, roads and ports.
The 38 million dollars (about 87 million TOP) Tonga Climate Resilient Transport Project II is the second major commitment to Tonga’s transport sector in the past five years. Previous care has already seen the rehabilitation of the seaport of Nafanua on the island of ‘Eua in Tonga, with road works on’ Eua and Vava’u, and the rehabilitation works of the Ha’apai Salote Pilolevu airport are expected to start in 2022. This second phase will further improve Tonga’s transport sector for safer and more reliable travel by road, sea and air; and reduce the potential damage and costs to transport infrastructure caused by future climate-related emergencies.
The project will finance the rehabilitation and / or modernization of up to 45 km of roads through Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua; improvement of the ports of Eua and Ha’apai; and improving the safety and resilience of airport infrastructure in Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua, Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu. The assistance will also strengthen Tonga’s ability to respond more quickly and effectively to future disasters and emergencies.
In addition, the US $ 15 million (approximately TOP 34 million) funded by the World Bank Safe and Resilient Schools Project in Tongabuilds on work undertaken through the World Bank Pacific Resilience Program support work to improve the resilience of Tongan schools. Over the past decade, Tonga has been hit hard by tropical cyclones Harold (2020), Gita (2018) and Ian (2014), with Gita alone damaging or destroying 109 of Tonga’s 150 schools, affecting approximately 23,000 students and causing damage to approximately 356 million TOPs (164 million US dollars); nearly 38 percent of Tonga’s gross domestic product.
The Safe and Resilient Schools project also aims to improve the safety and resilience of selected schools across Tonga, to ensure that these buildings better withstand the impacts of future disasters and provide safe and secure classrooms for students. . The work will include new and improved classrooms; school rooms, dormitories and teachers’ accommodation; as well as critical water, sanitation and hygiene facilities such as toilets, hand washing facilities and potable water. The new project also aims to improve the quality of education in Tonga by developing an Education Management Information System (EMIS) to better inform education management and policy reforms; improve the quality of education; and review and improve Tonga’s school curricula and assessment processes.
“Tonga is one of the countries most exposed to climate change and natural disasters in the world, the remoteness and size of its islands making them even more vulnerable to multiple social and economic shocks” noted Stephen Ndegwa, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.
âThrough these two far-reaching projects, we reiterate our long-term commitment to support Tonga’s efforts to build their resilience and ensure that they can respond better and with confidence to effectively recover from the challenges. impacts of future natural disasters. . “
Both projects are funded by grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most needy countries.
The World Bank works in partnership with 12 Pacific countries, supporting 87 projects totaling $ 2.18 billion in commitments in sectors such as agriculture, aviation and transport, resilience and adaptation to climate change , economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, management, rural development, social protection, telecommunications and tourism.
PRESS RELEASE N Â°: 2022/038 / EAP
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