World Bank vice president for East Asia, Pacific to discuss further support for Fiji
The World Bank vice president for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa is keen on discussing how they can further support Fiji’s efforts to improve the lives of people. Ms Kwakwa was officially welcomed by the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum through a traditional ceremony at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island yesterday. This is Ms Kwakwa’s first visit not only to Fiji but to the Pacific islands as well.
Fiji provides a unique entry point for the World Bank’s work and we will continue to grow our presence in the country and indeed ramp up our support across the Pacific. You have lent a strong voice to highlight the plight of Pacific countries in the face of climate change Victoria Kwakwa Vice President for the World Bank Group - East Asia and Pacific
Ms Kwakwa said: “It’s a true pleasure for me to visit your country and see the progress you have made, the challenges you still face and discuss how the World Bank can support your efforts to improve the lives of your people.” She said the World Bank Group opened its first office in Suva six months ago.
“Fiji provides a unique entry point for the World Bank’s work and we will continue to grow our presence in the country and indeed ramp up our support across the Pacific,” Ms Kwakwa said.
She added Fiji played a critical role in the international community and was a champion for small states.
“You have lent a strong voice to highlight the plight of Pacific countries in the face of climate change. “Our partnership is strong but I am determined during my tenure as the vice president to ensure that we continue to strengthen,” Ms Kwakwa said. Also Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was privileged to have Ms Kwakwa in the country and this was an opportunity to highlight to the Bank the progress Fiji had made after Cyclone Winston.
“It is a privilege to have the vice president of the World Bank in charge of South East Asia Pacific Group to visit the Pacific,” he said. “And we are always privileged that she has chosen to come to Fiji first and she’ll be here for the next couple of days.” He added this also gives an opportunity to highlight to the Bank what Fiji is doing in particular after the Cyclone Winston. “And how the funds they have made available for us together with the Asian Development Bank and how we utilising these funds,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted. Ms Kwakwa also visited two schools in Ba after her traditional welcome ceremony. He said Ms Kwakwa was scheduled to visit a couple of other sites that were being built better after the cyclone. “Also give us an opportunity to showcase to her the pivotal role that Fiji plays as hub of Pacific. It plays a facilitating role for the rest of the Pacific island countries.
“We also will be able highlight to her the effects of things like climate change, the impact it does have. It is a big opportunity for Fiji as a whole to have the vice president to be in Fiji.” Today, Ms Kwakwa will meet other development partners and also have a formal meeting with the Fijian Government. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further said Ms Kwakwa would be hosted to a small function before she departs Fiji tomorrow for Vanuatu.
She will also visit Port Moresby and Australia.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with the World Bank Group, vice president for East Asia and Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Nadi yesterday.