PRIF partners announce establishment of the PRIF Coordination Office
27 March, 2013
The PRIF partners announced on 27 March the establishment of the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) Coordination Office which will assist in improving infrastructure and services in Pacific island countries. PRIF partners consist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australia, New Zealand, the World Bank Group, the European Commission, and European Investment Bank.
The office will be funded by grants from the Governments of Australia and New Zealand and the ADB, with Australia providing US$8.9 million, New Zealand funding US$2.4 million, and ADB providing US$0.5 million through its Technical Assistance Special Fund. ADB will administer the grants and will host the PRIF Coordination Office in Sydney, Australia.
Since 2008, the PRIF partners have worked closely with Pacific governments to coordinate development partner assistance to improve the quality, reliability and availability of critical infrastructure in both rural and urban areas to boost economic growth, create jobs and provide access to public services.
“For the past 5 years, development partners have utilized the PRIF to better coordinate their support for infrastructure in the Pacific region,” said Xianbin Yao, Director General, Pacific Department at the ADB. “The new PRIF Coordination Office will take this coordination one step further and will ensure that assistance provided through loans, grants, and private sector participation, is effective and better meets the needs of Pacific people.”
“The Australian Government is pleased to be a major supporter of the PRIF Coordination Office”, said Rob Tranter, First Assistant Director General at AusAID. “The Coordination Office is a practical and tangible demonstration of the commitments made by development partners to improve development effectiveness and donor coordination in the Pacific”.
The PRIF Coordination Office will provide Pacific governments with comprehensive and coordinated support and technical advice on infrastructure development and investment. The PRIF supports the national development goals of Pacific nations by helping to ensure infrastructure investments are well-designed and managed.
The PRIF covers 12 Pacific island countries and supports five economic subsectors: energy; telecommunications; road, aviation, and maritime transport; waste management; and water and sanitation.
The multi-partner investment coordination and technical assistance mechanism has so far assisted Pacific Island countries to improve roads, ports and transport systems; support reliable energy and communications infrastructure; and improve their water, sanitation and waste management systems.
The Media Release is available to download here.
New Zealand to host Pacific energy summit
29 August, 2012
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will co-host a Pacific regional energy summit designed to achieve “a quantum leap forward” in the implementation of clean and affordable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuel.
Mr McCully says the conference will be a legacy of New Zealand’s year as Forum Chair, designed to translate renewable energy talk into action.
“At last year’s Forum in Auckland, leaders made a strong commitment to the promotion of clean and affordable energy through the Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Economic Development,” Mr McCully says.
“In the past 12 months, Pacific countries have made considerable progress towards energy independence.
“To keep up this momentum and create opportunities for further investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, New Zealand and the European Union will host a Pacific regional energy summit early next year. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Australia have agreed to co-sponsor this event.
“The summit is designed to connect development partners, private sector investors and Pacific countries to help fast-track the region’s conversion to renewable energy sources.
“We are talking to other partners - such as the United States, United Arab Emirates and Japan - and welcome participation from a wide range of partners,” Mr McCully says.
The summit will be held in New Zealand in April 2013.
- New Zealand is in the process of designing a $10.5 million assistance package for the Cook Islands for the construction of renewable electricity systems on Rarotonga and the outer islands
- The Cook Islands and Tuvalu are aiming to generate 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020
- New Zealand is supporting the installation of solar panels in Tokelau, with the aim of bringing it close to 100 per cent reliant on solar energy by 2013
- Tonga now has one of the largest solar plants in the Pacific
Media Release Available at:
Showcasing the Pacific - PRIF visits the Pacific Islands Showcase in Auckland
The Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) Secretariat and PIAC recently took part in the Pacific Showcase at the Cloud on Auckland's waterfront from 5-8 September, 2011.
This years Pacific Islands Forum, which sought to deliver tangible developmnet outcomes for the people of the Pacific region, focused on encouraging opportunities for the private sector and this was exemplified in part through the Pacific Showcase. In celebration of over 40 years of the Pacific Islands Forum, Auckland was provided with an opportunity to connect in a real way with its neighbouring Pacific Islands as thousands of people turned up to the Cloud to see a display of the Pacific, its businesses and products.
Energy was a key theme for the Showcase, and in particular Sustainable and Renewable Energy. The PIAC and PRIF Secretariat team represented the PRIF donor partners and their energy programs in the Pacific. Along with providing key information on PRIF partner energy projects across the Pacific, the PRIF stand promoted some key messages for energy-sector development in the Pacific:
- Making energy more efficient and affordable
- Increasing acces
- Building energy security
The Pacific Islands Forum itself was attended by the Heads of State and Government and Special Envoys from Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Other attendants included Associate Members New Caledonia and French Polynesia, and Observers Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, the ADB, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the UN, Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the WBG. The Forum discussed sustainable economic development in the Pacific including engagement with Pacific businesses, the importance of fisheries, reliable transport and secure energy, as well as other areas such as education, health, trade and tourism.
Benchmarking of Water Utilities in the Pacific - MOU signed by PWWA, SPC/SOPAC and PIAC
The Pacific Water and Wastes Association (PWWA), in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Applied Geo-science and Technology Division (SPC/SOPAC) and with the support of the Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Centre (PIAC), have agreed to initiate a joint benchmarking initiative for water utilities in the Pacific region.
The benchmarking initiative aims to improve the performance and service delivery of water utilities by comparing performance and learning from one another, and to enhance the availability of information on the delivery of water services in the region. PWWA will be responsible for the overall management and coordination of the benchmarking exercise and SPC/SOPAC will provide technical support in the analysis of data and in preparing the technical benchmarking report. The PRIF partners, through PIAC, are supporting the initiative by providing the technical assistance to both organisations.
Benchmarking of Power Utilities in the Pacific - MOU signed by PPA, SPC and PIAC
In signing ceremonies held in Suva, Fiji and Sydney, Australia in September 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between Mr. Anthony Neil, Executive Director of the Pacific Power Association (PPA), Dr. Jimmy Rodgers, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Mr. John Austin, Manager of the Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Center (PIAC) to establish a partnership framework to pursue a benchmarking initiative in the power sector.
The MOU marks the collaboration among the partners in recognition of the need to further enhance energy and power related infrastructure and service delivery in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). PPA will be responsible for overall implementation the benchmarking initiative while SPC, as lead coordinating agency for energy issues in the Pacific will incorporate benchmarking activities within the revised Regional Energy Policy and act as the central data repository for benchmarking information. The PRIF partners through PIAC will provide technical assistance to undertake the initiative.