Thursday, 22 May 2008 3:12 PM

Unproductive Use of Aid Results in Donor Dependency: Hou

The unproductive use by Solomon Islands of the funds provided by donors through national and provincial politicians has created a donor dependent mentality for Solomon Islands.

The outgoing Governor of the Solomon Islands Central Bank, Rick Hou, expressed this view during the launch last week of the Bank's 2007 annual report. Speaking on donor assistance Hou said that donor support for Solomon Islands has not only increased but has also diversified since independence in 1978.

Hou explained that "it was very unlikely that this country would manage without the assistance of international development partners." He described the trend as encouraging and said that such help will benefit the country well into the future.
Hou was however critical on what he referred to as an "off-shoot of donor support," which he said appeared to have prevailed in previous years.

This, he said, was the increasing ease at which funding assistance has been mobilized through unproductive channels controlled by politicians such as the RCDF.
"Solomon Islands and its citizens are fast becoming donor dependent," a situation he said was being exacerbated by increasing government handouts especially through their national MPs and their provincial counter-parts.

"Easy money options in this country are creating the disease I call 'Donor Dependency Syndrome' where the country, its institutions and citizens become paralyzed to normal hard work and shy away from being agents of real economic activity," Hou said.

Hou said, this trend has led to people spending their time, energy and resources, fantasizing in waves of pyramid schemes and other easy money options.