Australia's combined bilateral and regional development assistance to Solomon Islands will increase by AUD$9.8 million bringing the total of 2009-10 to AUD$246.2 million dollars.

This is despite the fact that the global economic downturn will likely mean negative growth in Australia's economy in the coming year.

The increase was part of the Australian Government's 2009-10 Budget announced on 12 May

Australia's High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Frank Ingruber, said the increase reflects the Australian Government's ongoing commitment to increase Official Development Assistance O-D-A.

Australia's development assistance to Solomon Islands is delivered through its bilateral program and through its contributions to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands RAMSI.

The 2009-10 Budget increase underlines Australia's ongoing commitment to development in Solomon Islands and allows it to progress initiatives on food security through rural development, economic infrastructure and assistance to improve economic and financial management.

Mr Ingruber said Australia looks forward to working with the Solomon Islands Government, as one of Australia's key Pacific Development partners, to ensure Australia's aid funding achieves the best results for the people of Solomon Islands.