THE Australian Government is providing a further $2 million to help the country rebuild key infrastructure following the devastating floods that hit Honiara in April this year.
The funding comes on top of the Australian Government’s $3 million emergency flood assistance package to provide immediate humanitarian relief to the people affected by the disaster.
The floods caused major damage to roads and bridges in and around Honiara, cutting communities off from services, markets, employment and each other.
The funding announced yesterday will go to restoring road access for thousands of Solomon Islanders.
The focus will be the main roads and bridges to the east and west of Honiara which provide vital links between the capital and the rest of Guadalcanal Island.
This infrastructure is vital to sustaining the country’s economy – helping farmers transport their produce to market, underpinning business in the capital and enabling thousands of ordinary Solomon Islanders to attend work, go to school and university, and access health services.
The repair of these roads and bridges will be a critical step forward in the long-term economic and social recovery from the floods.
Visiting Australian Minister for Justice Michael Keenan advised Prime Minister Lilo of his government’s additional support for the flood recovery when they met yesterday.
“This support complements the humanitarian assistance provided by Australia which worked to provide immediate relief and save lives,” Minister Keenan said.
“I’m pleased that the Australian Government was able to contribute to the early response including through the provision of Australian medical experts to support the hospital system and decrease the likelihood of a health outbreak following the floods,” he added.
Mr Keenan left yesterday.