“Thanks for reaching out. You are the second reporter to ask me about this. I don't know where this information is coming from but let me state that it is 100 per cent false,” US Embassy’s Public Affairs Chad Morris told Solomon Star in an email yesterday afternoon.
“All funding for SCALE remains in place and the project continues to move forward in Solomon Islands. The US Government and USAID continue to work with the Solomon Islands Government on implementing (the) program.
“I hope that is clear enough,” he said.
In a separate email, Mr. Morris denied that China’s presence in Honiara has re-ignited the United States’ interest in Solomon Islands.
“As I've said before, it is a false premise that we are working with Solomon Islands only because of China's presence. The planning for programs like SCALE, or the Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold program, or the return of the Peace Corps to Solomon Islands began years ago,” Mr. Morris said.
Solomon Star was advised that the SCALE Program has been shelved following President Joe Biden taking Office last January
“SCALE has been taken down from the US Government’s website,” Solomon Star was told.
Solomon Star is closely investigating this to ensure that rural people on Malaita are not given false hopes.
WINROCK – an NGO in the United States – will oversee funding in terms of assessment and recommendation of the project for funding.