The New Zealand government is expected to spend SBD$177 million in development assistance programs in Solomon Islands this year.
This was revealed by the Acting Head of the New Zealand aid program Jonathan Kings during the Solomon Islands-New Zealand bilateral consultations yesterday held at the Heritage Park Hotel.
Being the first time in the country Mr Kings said, New Zealand has a long history of friendship with Solomon Islands, hence their continuous support in development programs will benefit all Solomon Islanders.
“For instance, higher rates of numeracy and literacy amongst primary aged school children, improved transport routes, higher monetary yields from inland revenue and fisheries, and in the case of fisheries-increased employment opportunities.
“New Zealand is excited to be part of Solomon Islands’ growth and development,” Kings highlighted.
Kings added: NZ aid programs in Solomon Islands this year will also focus on the areas of tourism, energy, health and police through the work of Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary (PS) for Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination Shadrach Fanega stressed that the annual consultations is a cornerstone in the country’s development relationship with New Zealand, whom we have enjoyed long and trusted partnership.
Fanega further also stated that the consultation was an opportune time to share with the Head of New Zealand Aid Programme to this newly elected government’s ambitions.
“This dialogue will reconfirm our commitment to the development relationship between our two countries.”
By AATAI JOHN