The World Bank has approved around $71.6 million worth of grant funding for maritime projects in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The two projects are the World Bank’s first transport infrastructure investments in the North Pacific.
World Bank allocated around $38.5 million out of the total grant monies for the FSM Maritime Investment Project. The funding will be used for upgrades to port facilities at Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap. The aim of the project is to strengthen safety and security of maritime transport and improve the reliability of connections in the FSM, according to the World Bank.
Around $33.1 million will go into the Marshall Islands Maritime Investment Project to support repairs and improve port operations at Delap, Uliga, Ebeye, and outer island docks.
“Safe and reliable transportation is essential to ensuring that island communities across FSM can get to their place of work or study and access vital health services,” said Sihna Lawrence, FSM Ministry of Finance secretary. “Guided by our Infrastructure Development Plan, we look forward to working with the World Bank to improve our maritime transport and develop stronger connectivity across the archipelago.”
“Climate change is becoming an increasing threat to our maritime infrastructure and operations across Marshall Islands,” said Thomas Heine, RMI Transport and Communications minister. “We are delighted to be working with the World Bank to build resilient structures and improved emergency response systems to support our vital maritime industries and protect the livelihoods of our people.”
The two maritime projects will improve both countries’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change and will strengthen communities’ access to food, water, fuel, and emergency response services, according to the World Bank.