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World Bank says Marshalls needs people-focused solutions

Thursday 23 December 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Marshall Islands, Regional


World Bank says Marshalls needs people-focused solutions
Recent flooding in the Marshall Islands Photo: Giff Johnson

A World Bank report says the Marshall Islands must focus on people-centered development to overcome a range of economic challenges the atoll nation is being confronted with.

A review examined the challenges, opportunities, and risks to sustainable growth and outlines reforms that can help deliver sustainable long-term economic development.

The World Bank's Resident Representative for the North Pacific, Degi Young, said the Marshalls' greatest resource is its people.

However, Young highlighted the impacts of climate change, geographical remoteness, and the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in the Marshallese people having to deal with significant economic difficulties.

The World Bank study, Young said, "shows that by investing in people and fiscal systems, and making the most of its fisheries resources, Marshall Islands can chart a course towards greater economic independence."

The analysis offers short, medium, and long-term recommendations based on five key policy areas to support the RMI Government to drive increased economic growth, resilience, and fiscal sustainability.

These areas include strengthening labor opportunities, maximising benefits from fisheries, enhancing climate and disaster resilience, subsidising government finances, and improving service delivery.