WORLD BANK – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved US$5 million for the Economic Reform and Recovery Development Policy Operation which will support continued economic and financial reform and provide rapid financing to deal with the impacts of the severe flooding which hit the nation in April 2014.
The operation supports a program of targeted policy reforms to improve the management of public expenditure and debt; strengthen the administration of the mining sector and its associated revenues; and foster healthy regulatory conditions for private sector investment.
“The Solomon Islands Government is dedicated to a course of sustained reform to deliver improved standards of public finance management and better conditions for private investment,” said Fred Fakari’i, Permanent Secretary of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance.
“The Solomon Islands’ recovery following the events of April 2014 is well underway and we look forward to continuing to work with the World Bank to maintain momentum.”
The operation will ensure the momentum of the Government’s program of economic reforms, while also providing funds for flood recovery and rehabilitation. Specific policy changes will target the revision of guarantees to State-Owned Enterprises and transparency in awarding scholarships for tertiary education; greater transparency of the mining industry and the streamlining of the mining tax regime; and establishment of a land board to improve governance of urban land and bolster private sector investment.
“We are working with the Solomon Islands Government to ensure the long-term resilience of their economy through reforms that will ultimately boost shared prosperity and improve the living standards of the nation’s most vulnerable people – many of whom were affected by the April 2014 floods,” said Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director for the World Bank in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.
The grant of US$5 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) includes US$2 million from the Crisis Response Window (CRW) – the World Bank’s special fund for use following exceptionally severe natural disasters and regional economic shocks.