In 2019, Niue became a member of the Asian Development Bank and yesterday afternoon the office of the Asian Development Bank was officially opened at the Commercial Centre in central Alofi.
Premier Dalton Tagelagi, Cabinet ministers, diplomatic representatives and the leaders of government departments were in attendance.
A team of three including the Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department Leah Gutierrez and Director Aaron Batten arrived yesterday for the opening.
Ms Tiarez spoke about the assistance provided by ADB since 2019 towards Niue in the energy sector and public service technical assistance.
“In 2022, ADB commenced its assessment of Niue’s electricity system and energy sector plans to validate and make recommendations for ADB’s engagement in the energy sector. We are pleased to mention that ADB secured the funding of 0.7 US Million Dollars from the trust fund for a project that will work with government and those development partners including New Zealand to help Niue meet the renewable energy target of 80% by 2025.”
According to a government release, ADB has committed two public sector grants and technical assistance totalling $4.3 million to Niue. Cumulative grant disbursements have reached $500,000, as financed by ADB’s special funds.
“A critical area of engagement for us in Niue since 2019 has been supporting the government to improve the efficiency and financial sustainability of public services. ADB technical support is currently supporting the government with the development of economic data systems,” says Director Gutierrez.
Premier Tagelagi spoke about the background to Niue joining the Asian Development Bank and expressed his gratitude and that of the government and the people of Niue to the assistance from the Asian Development Bank including the construction of a covid isolation unit at the Niuefoou hospital.
“This is a great start. It would only strengthen our partnership and our understanding of what ADB has to offer. But I almost also say thank you to all others that helped support ADB, New Zealand and Australia and of course we are looking forward to taking advantage or to utilise properly that funding that was very generously offered to Niue as well. Thank you very much,” says Premier Tagelagi.
Asian Development representative Ms Gutierrez spoke also about technical assistance available to support Niue in terms of strategic reviews and feasibility studies in priority areas of health, education and social protection.
“ADB is also pleased to discuss options for expanding climate change support including through technical assistance. ADB scaling up to address climate change, disaster risks and environmental degradation. In fact we are elevating our ambition to $100 billion dollars across the Asian-Pacific region. For climate financing, to its member countries for the period 2019 to 2030,” says Ms Gutierrez.
The Asian Development Bank team will be on the island until next week.
Mrs Angela Tuhipa will be managing the Office of the Asian Development Bank on the island.
Ms Gutierrez is looking forward to seeing how ADB can help Niue meets its development objectives.