The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has described as “false and misleading” frontpage news article in yesterday’s newspapers.
Both the Island Sun and Solomon Star newspapers reported that Cabinet had approved $5-Million to buy relief supplies for the victims of Cyclone Raquel which left a costly trail of destruction in 33 Constituencies.
“This is false and misleading,” the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in a statement on Monday.
“Contrary to what the papers claimed, the Cabinet last Thursday approved a total sum of $3.3-Million for relief supplies for Constituencies affected by Cyclone Raquel,” the statement said.
“The money will be used to buy rice for the cyclone-stricken people. This will be the first line of support for people whose food gardens were destroyed and cannot wait for the completion of the site assessment being undertaken by the National Disaster Management Office.
“It would be grossly inhumane for the government to await the completion of NDMO’s assessments of the impact of the cyclone on the 33 affected Constituencies when food gardens were totally destroyed by the cyclonic weather.”
The statement said the reason behind the Cabinet decision to channel this assistance through Members of Parliament is that they (MPs) are the very ones that people first turn to in times of trouble and need.
“Only those far detached from the realities of life in Solomon Islands will question why Cabinet decided to channel this first line of disaster relief assistance through Members of Parliament.”
The statement added that government disaster relief assistance through the NDMO will be given after the completion of assessments in the cyclone-stricken Constituencies.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet meanwhile called on the Opposition Leader to get all his facts on issues of national interest right before barking in the media and to practice sensitivity when discussing issues that touch on the lives of people.
– PMO PRESS SECRETARIAT