World Bank approves US$18 million to support Marshall Islands’ fisheries sector

The World Bank has approved a new US$18 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Republic of the Marshall Islands to support effective management and cooperation in the fisheries sector. This will ensure that this critical sector is well managed and sustainably developed into the future, which is vital for regional and national economies and food-security.  

Oceanic and coastal fisheries sectors are critical for the economies of countries across the region, but the impact of climate change, over-exploitation, pollution, growing populations, and insufficient management could threaten the viability of these essential sectors.

The Marshall Islands components of the Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program’s Second Phase for Economic Resilience Project (RMI PROPER) will strengthen critical institutions such as the Marshall Islands Maritime Resource Authority (MIMRA), improve regional fisheries management, and build on conservation and management efforts so fish stocks and fisheries continue to provide for future generations.

The project will also support coastal fisheries management and habitat conservation, critical to food security, nutrition, health, and the wellbeing of all Marshallese people. The Marshall Islands PROPER Project will continue earlier work in the country delivered through the Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Project (PROP) that has included work to strengthen MIMRA’s ability to monitor fish catches, bolstering its Observer Program, and building on the successful community-based fisheries management program known as the Reimaanlok Framework.

“The ocean is a vital part of all aspects of Marshallese life, providing our people with food and economic resources, and the fisheries sector is essential for the jobs, wellbeing, and livelihoods of countless communities,” said the Hon. Brenson S. Wase, Minister of Finance for the Republic of the Marshall Islands. “We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the World Bank to support one of our most valued industries.”

As a shared resource that stretches between Pacific Island nations, the World Bank’s oceanscape support covers countries across the region. Since 2014 PROP, and now its second phase, PROPER, have worked closely with governments, organizations, and communities across the Pacific Islands to improve the effective management and sustainable development of fisheries and their value chains while strengthening national and regional institutions that play a vital role in monitoring and protecting these resources.

“RMI PROPER is an important continuation in the World Bank’s support to Marshall Islands’ work in managing its vital ocean resources,” said Degi Young, the World Bank’s Resident Representative for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. 

“We are pleased to be able to contribute to this important work, and we look forward to supporting Marshall Islands in ensuring that fisheries can deliver food security, prosperous livelihoods, and vital revenue for the Marshallese economy.”

In addition to work in Marshall Islands, the World Bank has been providing support for ocean resources in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, as well as supporting the regional Forum Fisheries Agency.

Photo credit: iStock/ richcarey

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