NATION

$100M Available From Japanese Agency For Disaster Rehab

Called the Stand-by Loan for Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation, it has a concessional terms and condition of 0.01 per cent interest rate and 40-year repayment period.
22 Feb 2020 13:23
$100M Available From Japanese Agency For Disaster Rehab
JICA Fiji Resident Representative Yukari Ono with Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum following the signing of JICA Standby Loan Agreement to Fiji on February 21, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Pen has been put to paper and now Fiji can access up to $100 million or US$50 million in loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Called the Stand-by Loan for Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation, it has a concessional terms and condition of 0.01 per cent interest rate and 40-year repayment period.

This includes a 10-year grace period, which minimises the impact of debt management of Fiji Government’s sound and sustainable fiscal management.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and JICA resident representative Yukairi Ono signed the agreement that has been on the cards for some time.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the availability of this arrangement made it easier for Fiji to access the funds in the case of a natural disaster.

“I thank the Japanese Government, most importantly the Japanese people and their willingness to partner with the Fijian Government,” he said.

“The need for this stand-by facility puts us in a very good situation and puts us in a state of readiness for any disasters.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Cabinet had put in various disaster risk reduction policies and accessing the funds could be done by following procedures prescribed in the National Disaster Act.

Ms Ono said this was the first loan agreed between JICA and the Government of Fiji after 22 years.

The last was the Nadi-Lautoka Regional Water Project in 1998.

“In addition, it is the first stand-by loan in the Pacific Island countries. This is an event that has made another milestone of our history of cooperation to Fiji to contribute to the development of Fiji,” Ms Ono said.

“This enables Fiji’s smooth recovery from severe disaster.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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