Representatives of 12 community groups gathered at the Australian High Commission this week for a handover of project funding for small community development projects spread across all provinces of Solomon Islands.

Australian High Commissioner, Frank Ingruber, presented cheques to the successful applicants for funding under the High Commission's Direct Aid Program (DAP). The funding totalled SBD 290,000 and included water and sanitation, health, education and small income generating projects.

The High Commissioner said the DAP program has a strong focus on assisting people at grassroots levels, particularly women and children. Every one of these projects, in its own way, helps improve the lives of Solomon Islanders.

Community representatives expressed warm thanks for the support provided by the Australian Government. Among others, Billy Bekala from Buri Village on Ranogga Island said his village, which is one of the largest villages on the Island, had its source of drinking water damaged by the earthquake that hit Western Province in 2007. The water tank project will therefore provide Buri village with much needed clean drinking water.

DAP will provide a total of SBD 955,000 for community projects in Solomon Islands this financial year. Individual grants have an upper limit of around SBD 34,000. The High Commission welcomes worthwhile applications from communities that need a helping hand in achieving their goals.

Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands