ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PROJECTS FLOP IN

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PACIFIC
Organization to raise profile with field offices

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 4, 2010) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says it has responded to the limited success of some of its Pacific projects by opening field offices around the region.

Figures in the banks 2009 annual report show that of the 100 projects the bank conducted in the Pacific between 1973 and 2009, less than half were successful.

Nineteen were unsuccessful and 35 only partially successful.

In Papua New Guinea, 8 percent of projects were unsuccessful and 58 percent partially successful.

The Head of the Asian Development Bank's Pacific Department, Robert Wihtol, says the ADB tries to pick up lessons from its experiences in the region.

He says the main lesson learnt from the results is that the ADB needs to have a very strong field presence and to monitor its projects closely.

"In response to these results we've got 4 field offices in the Pacific, handling the Pacific," he said.

"But we've now set up small joint offices with the World Bank in several additional countries, Samoa, Tonga, Solomons, Vanuatu and we are looking at further offices to further strengthen our field presence."

Mr. Wihtol says the Asian Development Bank is also employing more Pacific staff so it has a better grasp of local circumstances and cultural conditions.

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