The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners are set to spend $US900 million on improving Pacific towns and cities by the end of 2022.
The ADB’s Pacific Urban Update 2020 report details a swathe of urban infrastructure projects that are planned or under way across the region.
ADB Pacific urban division director Jingmin Huang said the report showed how the bank was partnering with island governments, private sector and donor partners.
“And also, this report is very good to help us better understand our position in urban development and then based on that it would help to guide our future development direction,” she said.
Much of the development was focused on water and sanitation prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Huang said.
“Before the vaccine is developed, this is the most essential way to prevent the virus from spreading. We all know we need to wash our hands, wear our face masks and keep social distance, so of course people need more running water to wash their hands.”
Ms Huang said there was also a focus on building capacity for urban development planning, particularly in areas like Suva in Fiji and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
“More people moving to cities and towns risks the growth of under served informal settlements and increased spread of disease, but it also presents an opportunity to improve lives through the sustainable delivery of accessible services,” she said.
“By helping countries provide safe, efficient, and reliable urban services, and by better managing the growth of towns and cities, we are building strong and healthy economies to better manage their isolation and limited resources.”
SOURCE – RADIO NZ