Tuesday, 8 May 2012 7:50 AM

Solomons Strengthens Ties with World Bank

The World Bank and the Government of Solomon Islands signed a US$2 million grant agreement to boost the economy and support effective service delivery for the country.

The agreement was signed by Pamela Cox, Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank and Rick Houenipwela, Minister for Finance in Solomon Islands at the annual meetings of the Asian Development Bank in Manila.

"Over recent years the Government of Solomon Islands has delivered on a number of important reforms that have helped build a stronger economy," said Cox. "The grant will take this forward and deliver better services and poverty reduction for all Solomon Islanders."

Developed in coordination with the government-led multi-donor Core Economic Working Group, the operation will support government-led reforms that will help to improve the budget process, make the process more consultative and encourage civil society involvement. It will also help strengthen financial management of state owned enterprises in the water and electricity sectors.

In addition the funding will support the Government's efforts to provide clearer information about mining revenues, as they look to achieve compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). EITI is a global initiative that aims to strengthen governance in the extractives sector, a growing industry in Solomon Islands.

These reforms, along with additional efforts by the government and its donor partners, are expected to contribute over time to an improvement in public service delivery for the country's citizens.

The operation supports the priorities of the Solomon Islands' Government's National Development Strategy, 2011-20, which focuses on efficient service delivery, transparency and accountability. It will be funded by a grant from the International Development Association, the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries.