Pacific islands secure clean energy with $3m grant

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A $3 million grant approved by the Asian Development Bank is expected to provide access to clean energy to some 3000 people in Palau, an island nation in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.

The grant comes from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, a financing facility provided by the Government of Japan and administered by ADB.

The funding will support the Palau Disaster Resilient Clean Energy Financing Project designed to improve access to disaster-resilient clean energy for some low-income households.

Some 900 female-led projects and low-income households will be provided with loans to implement clean energy projects.

The National Development Bank of Palau, as the financial intermediary, will extend loans to borrowers including women, and conduct awareness-raising activities, such as public campaigns and workshops.

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Increasing the resilience of clean energy infrastructure has become an urgent priority for Palau. Since 2012, the country has experienced several natural disasters that caused cumulative losses of more than $50 million. Low-income households spend a very high proportion of their disposable income on energy.

Impacts of the project include increasing consumer access to affordable disaster-resilient clean energy, boosting the resiliency and preparedness of Palau communities to climate change and disasters, and promoting women’s self-sufficiency and entry into the formal sector.    

Energy specialist of ADB’s Pacific Department Rafayil Abbasov, said: “This project, targeting disaster-resilient clean energy financing for low-income and women beneficiaries, is the first of its kind to be implemented in a Pacific developing country.

“The project will have wider impacts through the demonstration of financial solutions to boost access to disaster-resilient clean energy and may be used as a model to replicate regionally.”

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