NZ fund boost to Samoa’s private sector benefits women, young people

New Zealand’s prime minister has announced $US4.7 million ($NZ 6.5 million) in extra funding to boost employment and investment in small businesses in Samoa.

Jacinda Ardern is visiting Apia as part of her Pacific Missions trip which also includes legs in Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands.

Speaking at a press conference with her Samoan counterpart Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Ms Ardern announced her government has committed increased funding for a private sector development progamme in Samoa.

“That money will go particularly to supporting your young people and women who are developing small business opportunities, accessing micro-financing and so we’re working closely with the Samoa Ministry of Commerce and your Development Bank to try and enhance that existing co-operation.”

Jacinda Ardern has also pledged $US 2.1 million ($NZ 3 million) worth of extra funding has been committed to Samoa to help with the recovery from Cyclone Gita last month.

She said the country suffered damage to business and homes, as well as a large landslide that will cost a lot to clean up.

“The extra geo-technical work that needed to be done, work on infrastructure,” she said.

“So our hope is that as you identify those needs, that the additional $NZ3 million will go in some way to helping with the recovery and building resilience.”

The two leaders said they discussed a range of issues in their meeting, which included climate change, and how to improve the seasonal worker scheme under which Samoans work in New Zealand.

Source: RadioNZ