Premier Suidani echoed words of thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the government and the people of the Republic of China (ROC) ROC on Taiwan's COVID-19 food support to Malaita Province by funding 2,600 20kg bags of rice.
The Malaita Premier told Solomon Star Auki in an exclusive interview during the launching of Taiwan's COVID-19 support to Malaita Province yesterday that those rice bags will be distributed to vulnerable communities in Malaita that are often faced with food shortage due to their locations.
He said communities that will receive the food supply supports are from; Langa Langa Lagoon, Lau Lau Lagoon, West Are'are Lagoon, Walande and Fanalai, Kwai, and Ngongosila, Basakana, Dai, Manaoba, and Malaita Outer Islands (MOI).
The Premier said communities in the said location often face a shortage of root crops due to their location which makes it difficult for them to grow root crops.
He said many people are returning home due to the COVID-19 threat and put more pressure on these vulnerable communities forcing them to dig deeper into their pockets just to put a single meal on the table to sustain their lives.
He said as a responsible government, MARA is taking a leading role in engaging with traditional partners to ensure there is food on the table for the most affected communities in the province.
Asked about whether it is a breach of protocol to engage with Taiwan, a country that the Sogavare lead DCGA cut political ties within September of 2019 and switched ties to China, the Premier said DCGA has adopted a policy of friend to all and enemy to none.
"Well, I want to thank DCGA for its friend to all and enemy to none policy.
"We Malaita Province really appreciate the DCGA policy of friend to all and enemy to none, which repeatedly echoed by the Foreign Affairs Minister Jeremiah Manele.
"This policy in a nutshell actually paves way forward for Malaita to engage in sister relationships with our traditional partners as a province," he said.
The Premier confirmed that the food supply is continuing support from Taiwan where he said there is more in the pipeline for Malaita Province as COVID-19 threat continues to bombard food supply which threatens the lives of Malaitans in vulnerable communities.
With that, he said the help from Taiwan shows that Taiwan is really a true friend to the people of Malaita Province in times of need.
"We, therefore, stand here today to echo from the bottom of our hearts to the government and loving people of Taiwan our most sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the support you have given us.
"Your support to my people continues to rekindle the long-standing friendship between the people of Malaita Province and the people of Taiwan.
"Our people have come to share the same values and principles and it is my strongest belief that no amount of institutional deprivation will overcome these shared human commonalities.
"We must thank our God almighty for its saving grace and for its continuous love to us, let us be with him in his wisdom as we celebrate this wonderful gift from our dear friend from the other side of the vast Pacific Ocean."
Premier Suidani launched Taiwan's COVID-19 support to Malaita in the presence of MPAs, Malaita Provincial Secretary, and Provincial Workers yesterday morning at the Malaita Assembly conference room.
By WILSON SAENI