MANILA, PHILIPPINES - A partnership of government and international development agencies today announced the establishment of a new advisory center to assist in improving infrastructure and services in Pacific Island nations.

The Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Center will analyze, plan, and provide technical assistance to help Pacific countries develop sustainable infrastructure and services that support national development goals.

The Advisory Center is the initiative of the Australian Government, New Zealand Government, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank Group including the International Finance Corporation. ADB will establish and manage the Center from the ADB Sydney office at a cost of $2.4 million.

The Center is the first key component of support to be provided under the new Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF), announced in August 2008.

The PRIF aims to coordinate donor assistance to develop and maintain critical infrastructure in the Pacific, increasing economic growth, creating jobs, and better linking urban and rural areas to basic social services. PRIF partner agencies will provide up to $200 million for infrastructure development in the Pacific over four years.

In accordance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Advisory Center will produce strategies, policies, and project designs which PRIF partner agencies and other stakeholders can support. This will help ensure that assistance provided through loans, grants, and private sector participation, is effective and meets the needs of Pacific people.