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World Bank Funding to Boost Telecoms Services in the Marshall Islands

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The World Bank has approved a $3 million plan to help reform the telecommunications sector and boost access to mobile phones and internet for the Marshall Islands 53,000 people.

The Marshall Islands is one of the world's least "connected" countries, and telecommunications access is low. Just two percent of people subscribe to internet services, and only about one-quarter have a mobile phone.

The project aims to help the country attract new investment in telecommunications and bring down service costs, including through increased competition. In the Pacific region and Papua New Guinea, such reforms have given over two million more people access to mobile phones, with much cheaper calls.

"We welcome our renewed partnership with the World Bank, and look forward to working together on an ambitious agenda," said the Honorable Dennis Momotaro, Minister of Finance. "The telecommunications project is an ideal starting point - improving telecommunications will make it easier for families and friends to keep in touch, promote business opportunities, and link communities to essential services."

The Marshall Islands will receive assistance through grants from the International Development Association. A USD3 million grant is being provided for the ICT Sector Development Operation, the first of a series of three operations to address telecommunications reform which will be implemented by the Marshall Islands' Ministry of Finance.

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Tags: Marshall Islands