MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist the Pacific region to improve economic management and in doing so will help the region weather the impacts of the global economic crisis.

"Sound economic management will be key to the Pacific minimizing the impact of the global downturn," says S. Hafeez Rahman, Director General of ADB's Pacific Department.

A grant of US$3.5 million will be used to assist ADB's Pacific developing member countries prepare a national response to the global crisis.

"The technical assistance provides for ADB's contribution to a joint effort by development partners to help the Pacific lessen the effects of the global crisis through improved economic monitoring, and policy analysis," says Craig Sugden, ADB Country Economist and project team leader. "The project aims to generate longer-term benefits by helping the Pacific region develop their systems and processes for economic management."

With the help of mentors, ADB will assist decision makers and senior economic advisers of ADB's Pacific developing member countries apply key lessons learned from the Pacific and other regions toward successful economic reform.

Another major activity funded by the grant is the development of a Pacific Economic Monitor. The monitor will be prepared as a compilation of data and economic analysis of the impact of the global economic crisis. The Pacific Economic Monitor will be disseminated widely to raise public awareness of key public policy issues.

The ADB technical assistance project will be financed by ADB's technical assistance funding program (TA Special Fund IV). ADB will provide $3 million equivalent, and Pacific developing member country governments will finance the remaining $0.5 million.

Resource allocations will depend on prospects for sustainability, the vulnerability of Pacific economies to the global economic crisis, and other development partner activities in this area.