Health, Education and Economic Management Improvements for Tuvalu
WASHINGTON D.C., September 5, 2018 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved last week a US$7.5 million
grant to support Tuvalu’s Fourth Development Policy Operation. Government reforms, under this new operation, will seek
to improve early childhood education and care, address the non-communicable diseases epidemic, continue strengthening
the management of the country’s reserve assets and public finances, and encourage a more robust banking sector.
“Tuvalu remains fully committed to the partnership with the World Bank under its ongoing development policy operation
regarding health, education, economic development and long-term fiscal sustainability,” said Hon. Maatia Toafa, Tuvalu
Minister for Finance and Economic Development. “On behalf of the government and people of Tuvalu, I extend our heartfelt
appreciation to the Board of the World Bank for the continuing and unwavering support in getting the partnership to the
level it is now.”
The operation is structured under two pillars aligned with government priorities:
First, it aims to improve delivery of health and education services by formally recognizing early childhood care and
education as a government mandate, and increasing duties on certain tobacco, alcohol and sugary drinks.
Second, it will improve macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability by strengthening the management of reserves in the
Tuvalu Trust Fund, ensuring an affordable public service, and enhancing banking sector oversight and sustainability. The
operation is also expected to boost budget reserves for times of crisis.
“The World Bank is ready to continue its support to Tuvalu’s development of a more sustainable economy, including the
country’s ability to absorb shocks without disruption to the level of service delivery,” said Michel Kerf, Country
Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. “This project will also build on previous efforts to enhance the
quality of key public services and improve delivery for all.”
Activities under the first pillar will ensure that the education provided in the early years is formally recognized and
officially incorporated into the nation’s education sector; while increasing the price of tobacco, alcohol and sugary
beverages will ultimately reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases for many. Activities under the second pillar will
improve oversight of the Tuvalu Trust Fund; strengthen budget planning and transparency around public service staffing
decisions, and fully operationalize a banking commission to improve the oversight of the banking sector.
The Fourth Development Policy Operation is funded through a US$7.5 million grant from the International Development
Association, the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries.