Our support still remains, says US  - Solomon Star News

Our support still remains, says US 

02 November 2019
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US Ambassador Her Excellency Catherine Ebert-Gray. [Photo Lachlan Eddie]

THE United States says it’s committed to fund infrastructure projects here, including Bina Harbour in Malaita, despite the China switch.

Port Moresby-based US ambassador to Solomon Islands, Catherine Ebert-Gray made the assurance during an interview with the Solomon Star.

It was her fifteenth and final visit here before her tenure as Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu ends on November 17.

Bert-Gray said USAID is working with Australia, New Zealand and Japan to support infrastructure development here.

“In fact our engineers have been on the ground three times now working with our partners here,” the outgoing ambassador said.

“They are looking at the National Transportation Plan and follow the Solomon Islands government priorities, including Bina Harbour,” she said.

“We wanted to support infrastructure development and human capacity.”

Bina Harbour is a national project that has been in the running for many years. The Government wants to develop the harbour into a duty free industrial town.

Land dispute and other issues prevented the project from getting off the ground.

Bert-Gray also stated their focus of assistance here will also focus on education.

She said support in this area will come through the revival of the US Peace Corps Volunteer, which she said should resume in 2021.

The Peace Corps programme came to its end at the height of the civil strife that shook the nation between 1989 and 2003.

Bert-Gray said under the programme, they intend to send in teachers who will come and go to the rural areas to live and teach within the communities.

She also said plans for the US to re-establish its embassy here are still on.

“Talks have been ongoing.

“I’ve intend to push these talks forward when I returned.”

By OFANI EREMAE

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