The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group (WBG) this month discussed the new framework for its engagement with Fiji over the next four years, aimed at boosting the Fijian economy and strengthening its fiscal, climate, and social resilience following the impacts of two tropical cyclones, and the devastating fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Fiji, the first for Fiji, provides a strategic road-map of priority activities for World Bank Group member organizations: the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which focuses on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which offers risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees.
Central to the framework is a focus on supporting Fiji’s recovery from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, as well as severe Tropical Cyclones Harold and Yasa; all three events having hit Fiji in 2020, in addition to the ongoing impacts of climate change.
The World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Fiji has two major focus areas:
Focus Area 1: Fostering Private Sector-led Growth and Inclusive Economic Opportunities – focuses on creating investment and business opportunities; more jobs; improved access to finance; boosting the tourism and agriculture sectors; as well as better infrastructure, digital services, and more clean energy.
Focus Area 2: Building Resilience – includes support to help Fiji gain access to funds both before and after a disaster strikes; improve emergency planning and increase resilient infrastructure; protect the environment and develop a sustainable Blue Economy; strengthen community resilience to climate and public health emergencies, and provide social assistance to help families and businesses that are in critical need.
The Framework is underpinned by an emphasis on strengthening governance and supporting gender equality. This work will include creating more jobs for women and helping to address gender-based violence in the country. The Framework is closely aligned with Fiji’s National Development Plan and was developed in close consultation with the government, civil society, and the private sector.