PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has described Australia as a “true friend” who has stood beside Solomon Islands in its darkest hour.
Sogavare highlighted this when launching the bushfire fundraising drive at the Honiara Hotel last week.
The prime minister said Australia occupies a strategic position and plays a strategic role in our regional joint efforts to ensure that our region continues to enjoy peace and stability.
Therefore, he said we could not afford to weaken the capability of Australia to effectively play that role.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Solomon Islands Government has written to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to convey our thoughts and prayers to the government and people of Australia.
“Our most sincere condolences for the loss of lives, damages caused by the bush fires and to pledge our offer of assistance,” he said.
To provide immediate response and assistance to Australia, the government has endorsed SBD$800,000 (approximately AUD$ 120,000.00).
This comes from our National Disaster Budgetary Support.
The proceeds from the fundraising drives will add towards this assistance.
The Prime Minister was also overwhelmed with the response at the fundraising event last week Thursday.
Prime Minister Sogavare has also extended his gratitude to other groups that have held similar fundraisings for this cause.
The second corporate dinner fundraiser will be held on 21st February 2020.
The first fundraising drive last week Thursday has attracted a huge turnout from business houses, ministries, SOE’s and individuals.