MARSHALLS, ADB ON GOOD TERMS: ASSISTANCE REQUESTED

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Arrears have been cleared and plans being prepared

By Aenet Rowa

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, May 7, 2009) – The Republic of the Marshall Islands' Minister of Finance was one of 3,500 participants at the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 42nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors held May 2-5 in Bali, Indonesia. On Sunday morning, Minister Jack J. Ading met with ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.

The RMI Minister reported that since the last bilateral meeting, a year ago in Madrid, the Marshall Islands has cleared all recent loan arrears with the Bank. A Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) and a CAP Advisory Group have been established.

"I also would like to thank the Bank for the two consultants it sent at latter part of 2008 to do a "rapid impact assessment" to assist us deal appropriately with the energy crisis," said Ading.

The country is updating its Energy Plan and Policy based on the ADB Energy report.

The RMI requested the ADB to consider eigth new Technical Assistance (TA) projects for the RMI. Included was support for the 2010 Census, hospital renovation, evironmental and private sector development, MDG's, and an economic advisor for the Finance Ministry.

The RMI also asked the Bank to reconsider loan forgiveness for two unsuccessful ventures -- the Majuro Water Supply Loan, US$7.6 Million, and Ebeye Fisheries Loan, US$3.0 Million.

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