World Bank gives Kiribati emergency aid

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kiribati is a Pacific nation of numerous low-lying islands
Image: Wikimedia Commons user Tauʻolunga, 2009.

Kiribati, one of the world's most isolated nations, has received US$2 million in emergency food aid from the World Bank. Lying on the equator, the South Pacific country hosts some of the least developed communities in the world, with few natural resources and relying heavily on imports.

As the global food crisis pushes food prices through the roof, the people of this isolated region are struggling to cope, spending half of their income on food. The World Bank grant will provide emergency aid to 60,000 people, approximately 60 percent of the population.

Little skilled workforce and being so geographically isolated has hindered the country's exports, with foreign aid and tourism each contributing one fifth of the area's finances. Kiribati's government and the World Bank struck the deal at the annual Asian Development Bank meeting in Hanoi, securing emergency food grants and developing programmes in environmental sustainability.

This is the second recent grant to Kiribati from the World Bank following a US$20 million allowance given in March to devise applications to deal with the effects of climate change.