From October 16th to 20th, 2023, the Pacific region is set to host a pivotal event, “Quality Infrastructure for a Blue Pacific Continent.” The five-day virtual conference hosted by PRIF (Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility) aims to tackle the pressing infrastructure challenges faced by the Pacific, intensified by climate change and frequent natural disasters.
Infrastructure investment in the Pacific has often been suboptimal, resulting in poor-quality construction, inefficient assets, unsustainable debt, limited local employment, and compromised environmental and social benefits. However, the demand for investment in the region is on the rise. The Asian Development Bank conservatively estimates that the Pacific’s annual infrastructure needs from 2016 to 2030 will reach a staggering US$3 billion.
Pacific Island Countries and their development partners are well aware of what infrastructure should deliver for Pacific communities. Still, there has been a need for a shared understanding and expectations regarding quality infrastructure in the region.
Drawing inspiration from regionally-owned principles for quality infrastructure developed by the Pacific Island Forum, which will be considered by Forum Leaders in November, PRIF has identified key elements addressing Pacific-identified priorities and reflecting quality in a Pacific context.
Quality infrastructure investment aims to maximise economic, environmental, social, and development benefits while ensuring financial sustainability. It encompasses investment that promotes sustainable and inclusive economic development, supports local employment, builds climate and disaster resilience, considers full lifecycle costs, and encourages private sector involvement, among other aspects.
PRIF Week 2023 Objectives:
- Provide a platform for Pacific infrastructure practitioners and stakeholders to discuss what quality infrastructure means for the Pacific region.
- Enhance awareness of the opportunities and challenges of applying quality infrastructure principles in Pacific infrastructure delivery programs.
- Promote development partners’ infrastructure priorities.
- Raise awareness of PRIF products and services.
The virtual conference will convene each morning over five days, commencing at 11 am Sydney Time, 12 pm Fiji Time, and 1 pm Samoa and Tonga Time. The event will explore key topics such as climate and disaster resilience infrastructure, national infrastructure planning for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, life-cycle cost considerations, environmental and social safeguards, value for money procurement, local content, private sector participation, and gender and social inclusion in infrastructure provision.
As the Pacific faces increasingly complex infrastructure challenges, PRIF Week 2023 offers a unique opportunity for infrastructure stakeholders to engage in vital discussions on quality infrastructure, paving the way for a more resilient and prosperous Pacific region. For more information and to participate in PRIF Week 2023, visit https://theprif.org/prif-week-2023