Economy Archive April 2020

Suspected Australian Immigration Scam

Suspected Australian Immigration Scam

The Australian High Commission has received a report of an individual falsely offering opportunities to live and work in Australia.
Testing Machine for COVID-19 Is Here!

Testing Machine for COVID-19 Is Here!

A qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) machine funded by the Australian Government arrived safely in Honiara last night.
Davis said most times he would have no passengers for almost an hour at the most. He said most people he knows have already returned to their home village.

Public Transport Owners Buckle Up for Tough Times

Public buses are now earning only as much as SBD$400 per day while Taxis are not as well, with less than SBD$100 a day in some cases.
Australia's High Commissioner H.E Dr Lachlan Strahan and Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Hon. Anthony Veke.

Western Border Patrols Boosted with Speed Craft From Australia

The capability of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) in the Western border region will be boosted after receiving a second high speed craft donated by the Government of Australia through the Australian High Commission Office in Honiara today.
Madeo adds vendors should avoid selling betel nuts in the street even though the country is still free COVID-19. He said preventive measures should be upheld.

HCC Reiterates Ban on Betel Nut Selling

Betel nuts sold on the streets of Honiara are illegal activities.
Kava Export High on Government Agenda

Kava Export High on Government Agenda

The Government is seriously exploring export opportunities for Solomon Islands kava.
They are “remote anyway to start with and rely heavily on imports.”

COVID-19 Could Lead to Food Insecurity

Solomon Islands, and other developing countries, need to be better prepared, the disruptions caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 are threatening to cut off supply chains and increase food insecurity.
While many are taken care of by family members, in times of crises or emergency they will need assistance with everyday tasks, including making food and getting dressed.

Person’s with Disability High Risk for COVID-19

People with Disability Solomon Islands (PWDSI) are calling on government to also recognize the needs of people with disability at this time of emergency.
Poor Sanitation a Challenge in Fight Against COVID-19

Poor Sanitation a Challenge in Fight Against COVID-19

Majority of communities around North Guadalcanal are concerned about their personal health and hygiene due to the threat of coronavirus.
WHO met with MHMS and NRH officials on Thursday to hand over supplies and equipment for the isolation centres.

WHO Supports Hospital Isolation Centres

The two COVID-19 isolation centres at National Referral Hospital (NRH) are now almost fully equipped, with the delivery this week of medical supplies and equipment worth more than SBD$400,000 by the World Health Organization, Solomon Islands, with support from the Australian Government.
SolBrew handover Medicine to NRH Pharmacy - Dr John Hue, Medical Superintendent and Supervising CEO NRH with Peralt van der Merwe SolBrew MD (centre) looked on by Grace Campbell (far left) and Acting Chief Pharmacist Solomon Bosa (back right).

SolBrew Donates Medical Supplies to NRH Pharmacy

Solomon Brewery Limited’s (SolBrew) this week donated medicines and medical supplies to the value of SBD350,000 to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) Pharmacy.
Dr Lachie Strahan said Australia was proud to support the NGOs and that it was wonderful to see the effects of their hard work.

Australian Humanitarian Aid Reaches Communities

Australia and its partners in Solomon Islands are getting aid to where it’s needed now.
He said there is truth in what the doctors have said to the Prime Minister and it is important the issues are brought forward to be resolved.

Health Minister Applauds Staff in Birthing Center of NRH

Health Minister Hon. Dickson Mua has commended doctors and nurses at the labor ward and the National Referral Hospital in general.
SINU says that the decision it has taken is based on the SIG Extension of the “State of Emergency” and is following advice from the SMC Special Sub-Committee on the Coronavirus pandemic.

SINU Defers Start Date

The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) has deferred the starting date for lectures.
“This is a special flight to support passengers currently in the Solomon Islands who wish to return to their home countries,” the CEO said.

Solomon Airlines to Operate 30th April Flight From Honiara

Solomon Airlines will operate a one-off commercial flight on 30th April following consultation with the Solomon Islands Government and foreign High Commissions, including Australia and New Zealand.
Recently the congress successfully acquired an office building to fully utilize its functions and will also house Youth At Work programs.

Mobilizing Youths Through Pandemic

Its all hands on deck for the National Youth Congress (NYC) as it works to revitalize its functions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
SIG and Chineses Officials witness the arrival of the testing machines at Honiara International Airport.

COVID-19 Testing Kits and qPCR Machine Arrives in Honiara

COVID-19 testing kits, lab equipment which includes a qPCR machine has arrived in Honiara.
Dr Kasai said this applied to all countries, including those in the Pacific islands who had no reported cases of Covid-19.

WHO Cautions Early Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned Pacific Island countries against an early easing of restrictions aimed at controlling or preventing COVID-19.
Sarah Tito said mothers are trying their best to provide for their families. She said with no gardens, this has proven to be very difficult for them.

Suaghi Villages Awaits Assistance After Cyclone Harold

Villagers in North Guadalcanal are frustrated their livelihood was shattered by cyclone Harold.
She said KGA is re-strategizing how to get to the farmers. She said one of the steps taken was to do a radio show every weekends.

Kastom Garden Promotes Radio Program to get to Farmers

Kastom Garden Association (KGA) is taking steps to assist their farmer members, all in an effort to bolster food security.
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period.

Communities Advised to Adhere to Health Advices

“Social distancing is not only a government measure but is everyone’s business”, Acting Police Commissioner, Mostyn Mangau said.

Efforts to Assist Families of Taimareho Accident Continues

The government is continuing with efforts to assist families and to resolve outstanding issues surrounding the tragic and unnecessary loss of 27 innocent lives from aboard the MV Taimareho on April 3 during Tropical Cyclone Harold.
“It is our priority that detainees and their loved ones have to remain in touch and assure each other of their well-being,” says Björn Rahm, who oversees the ICRC detention support in the Pacific.

Detainees Can Now Call Their Loved Ones

Due to the ongoing global threat of COVID-19, the Corrections Service of the Solomon Islands (CSSI) suspended all family visits as of 23rd March 2020 as part of various measures to prevent the entry of the disease into the correctional centres.
Dr Jack Siwainao talking with the Prime Minister during his visit.

Mothers and Babies Need Bigger Room at National Referral Hospital

“Currently we have two or three babies and mothers on one bed. The wards here are very crowded and there is no space”, Dr. Jack Siwainao, Consultant in charge of Labor ward told Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
The City Council says it will take additional measures in the near future, depending on the severity and duration of the pandemic.

HCC to Implement Pay Cuts

Honiara City Council (HCC) is the first of government's machinery to implement a pay cut in light of the effects of COVID-19.
Young Child Killed After Family Arguement

Young Child Killed After Family Arguement

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) in Noro, Western Province are investigating an alleged murder of a –two-year old female child in the township on 18 April 2020.
Solrice, which has 70% of the market share in Solomon Islands, has six (6) weeks of stock in Honiara and four (4) to six (6) weeks of stock in the provinces.

Rice Stock Good, Supply Chain Risks Being Addressed

SICCI reps and member companies on Saturday 18 April met with Under Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL), Mr. Michael Hoóta for an update discussion on rice stocks in the country.
Namo said they are making emphasis in the rural communities on simple hygiene methods like washing of hands.

SIDT Encourages Good Hygiene Practice

Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT) is encouraging rural communities to practice simple personal hygiene method as a way to prevent COVID-19.
The education ministry will make an assessment after the first week of school for the first group.

Schools to Resume in Solomon Islands but Not for Everyone

Schools will re-commence on April 27 but not for everyone.
The Prime Minister said with most of the equipment now being delivered, the National Referral Hospital will very soon have the capacity to do in-country testing.

Inclusive Preparedness Plans for COVID-19 says Solomon Islands PM

Solomon Islands is one of 15 countries that had not recorded any case of COVID-19 as yet.
Mrs. Pauline McNeil says, “Solomon Islands is one of a few countries that are yet free from COVID 19 and with the results received, the ministry is not going to give up the fight to prevent and protect its nationals.”

Solomon Islands Receives the Final Two COVID-19 Test Results NEGATIVE

Today Ministry of Health is pleased to finally receive results of the remaining two COVID-19 suspected case samples that were sent to Australia, and again the samples came back negative with no detection of coronavirus.
Quarantine Facilities Undergo Decontamination

Quarantine Facilities Undergo Decontamination

Decontamination of Institutional Quarantine Facilities used by quarantined persons for the last few weeks has undergone a thorough decontamination process and is ready for use again.
The MV Taimareho on 2nd April left Honiara for West Are’are when it encountered strong winds and rough seas.

Government Continues With Efforts to Assist Families of Taimareho Tragedy

The government is continuing with its efforts to assist families inflicted by the MV Taimareho tragedy.
It closes this week and SICCI welcomes respondents from all business and industry regardless whether they are members of the Chamber or not.

SICCI Conducts COVID-19 Impact Study

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) has been conducting an enterprise survey with business and industry to better understand the situation and challenges faced due to the ongoing challenges brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the Preparatory measures in country.
Central Bank Governor, Dr. Luke Forau says it is about time Solomon Islanders utilize the digital platforms available.

Solomon Islanders Encouraged to Use Digital Platforms

Solomon Islanders are encouraged to use digital platforms to pay for goods and services.
"It is quite a challenging job and I want to thank officers as this will enable them to improve our work during the State of Emergency and to prepare in advance should there be a longer lock down or curfew.”

Police Will Lay Charges Against 58 Curfew Offenders

The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) Prosecution Department will charge and re-bail 58 suspects that were released by the Magistrates Court early this week following no charges laid against them for breaching the curfew under State of public Emergency which was enforced last weekend.
Chief Ludovick Kaulake said this restriction will be in conjunction with the State of Emergency imposed by the national government.

Tamboko Bans Unnecessary Visits

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tamboko community has put in place measures to safe guard its people.
PRC Hands SBD$2.5M in Grant to Help Fight COVID-19

PRC Hands SBD$2.5M in Grant to Help Fight COVID-19

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Government has officially handed a cash grant of SBD$2.5 Million dollars to support the Solomon Islands Government in its efforts to combat COVID-19 in the country.
Emergency Powers restricting the movement of small craft vessels across the SI-PNG common border region became effective last Thursday 9 April 2020.

Police Steps Up Security at Solomon Islands - PNG Border

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and other law enforcement agencies are increasing their presence at the Solomon Islands – Papua New Guinea common border region from the Shortland Islands, Choiseul Province and the Malaita Outer Islands with arrival of the patrol boat Gizo in the western border region carrying more police, Immigration
Roads and bridges connecting villages to Honiara has been badly affected, in certain cases villages have been cut off having to use boat instead.

TC Harold Assessment on Guadalcanal in Progress

Lambi, Sahalu, Savulei, Tadai to Aola are the wards needing immediate assistance from NDMO.
Business and industry operating in the Emergency Zone can obtain the forms from the Chamber office. They can come from, as well as outside of, the SICCI membership.

SICCI Will Facilitate Lockdown Exemption for Businesses

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) is facilitating the exemption process for companies and businesses providing essential services, to remain operational during a potential lockdown once imposed by the Government.
Solomon Islands police patrolling the border with PNG.

Buka Policemen Arrested for Crossing into Solomon Islands

Papua New Guinea police arrested two policemen from Bougainville for illegally crossing into the Solomon Islands – breaching the State of Emergency (SoE) imposed by the PNG government.
The x-ray machine is one part of a package of support that New Zealand is providing to Solomon Islands as part of its COVID-19 emergency preparations.

New Zealand Delivers Much Needed Health Machines

The Solomon Islands government has taken delivery of new portable x-ray machines on Friday, donated by the New Zealand government.
Director of the National Disaster Management Office Mr. Loti Yates.

Power to Grant Exemption Vested on PM: NDMO Director

The Director of the National Disaster Management Office Mr. Loti Yates has clarified that his office do not have powers to grant exemptions to allow for movements or for business houses to operate during a lock down.
The theatre group is showing their support through the series of video productions.

Dream Cast Theatre Join the Fight Against COVID-19

Dream Cast Theatre Solomon Islands is joining the fight against COVID-19 through short films.
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Solomon Islands Debt Repayment with IMF Cancelled for Six Months

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has listed Solomon Islands as one of 25 countries that has had their debt payments cancelled for six months.
“I appeal to all citizens of Honiara and of Guadalcanal province to observe any future curfew order that may be decided by the Government, and stay at home during the curfew period," says Acting Commissioner Mangau.

63 Arrested for Breaching Curfew

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) have arrested a total of 63 individuals for breaching the night curfew imposed under the State of Public Emergency.
Residents in Honiara are encouraged to plan their weekend activities ahead of the curfew.

Curfew Not a Mock Exercise

Police Commissioner (Ag), Mostyn Mangau says the curfew in Honiara city is not a mock exercise.
“The regulation is on restriction of movement. So this regulation as government has announced, it is to get people to be prepared. But it is a regulation that is gazetted. When it is gazetted it is a law”, Mangau said.

Honiara Curfew $10,000 Fine to Be Imposed

Honiara city will be on lockdown as of Friday evening.
"Those lost are our brothers and sister under the banner of Solomon Islands", Ariki said.

Youths Remember Fellow Citizens in Candlelight Vigil

Over 30 young people from Rotaract, One More Shot and All Saints Youths were united to remember the 27 people lost in the recent sea tragedy.
The Government has launched two separate investigations into the recent sea accident involving the MV Taimareho which has resulted in 27 passengers washed overboard when the vessel encountered rough seas triggered by cyclone Harold Thursday last week.

Ship Operators Urged to Comply with Maritime Safety Laws

The Government has repeated its call on ship operators to comply with Maritime Safety Laws of the country.
CBSI says that on the demand side of the economy, there has been uncertainties on global demand for the country’s exports, along with a significant restraint in consumer spending in the domestic market.

CBSI Asses Impact of COVID 19 on the Solomon Islands Economy

The speed and extent of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic around the world has necessitated a revision to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands’ (CBSI) near-term growth outlook for the Solomon Islands economy.
Australian-funded Medical Supplies Arrive in Solomon Islands

Australian-funded Medical Supplies Arrive in Solomon Islands

Staff from the Australian High Commission were pleased to greet a special Solomon Airlines cargo flight as it arrived in Honiara from Brisbane on Wednesday 8 April.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachie Strahan and RSIPF Gender Coordinator, Staff Sergeant Alice Roteku, handover fuel drums and communication equipment to Seif Ples.

Australia Delivers Communication Equipment to Help Seif Ples Prepare for COVID-19

Australia has provided the Seif Ples Gender-Based Violence Crisis and Referral Centre with vital communication devices and additional drums of fuel to help it prepare for any COVID-19 lockdown.
Damages Caused by TC Harold Still To Be Confirmed

Damages Caused by TC Harold Still To Be Confirmed

Damages caused by Tropical Cyclone Harold are yet to be confirmed by the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC).

Police Explains Anchorage of Patrol Boat Auki West of Honiara

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) says one of its patrol boats the AUKI was anchored outside the Kakabona area west of Honiara last Sunday 5 April 2020 because of the recent bad weather associated with the tropical cyclone Harold.
The popular jewelry and accessories corner at the central market is now closed, with essential food items taking up their spot.

Suspension of Sale of Non-essential Goods at Central Market Questioned

Honiara City Council has suspended sale of non-essential goods at the Honiara’s main central market.
They say securities should be provided to monitor traveling between Tasman Islands, Lord Howe and Ontong Java.

Lord Howe and Ontong Java Call for Shut Down of Borders With PNG

People from Luaniua and Palau are calling for shutdown of the borders between Tasman Island in PNG and their remote outer islands.
A stimulus package is often seen as an economic measure put together by a government to stimulate a floundering economy.

Solomon Islands Stimulus Package to go Before Cabinet Next Week

The Government’s proposed stimulus package to cushion any negative impacts on the national economy are expected to be presented to Cabinet next week.

Australia Awards Scholarships Deadline for Applications Extended to 30 June 2020

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline for applications for the Australia Awards 2021 intake has been extended from 30 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. Successful applicants will (travel restrictions allowing) commence study in Australia in mid-2021 or early 2022.
An upgrade of the warning to a Tropical cyclone was made by MET office, an hour before the vessel departed.

Search Continues For Missing Passengers

Search is continuing for missing passengers on board the MV Taimareho.

Five Bodies Recovered

A total of five dead bodies were recovered today during the search for the 27 people missing from the MV Taimareho in West Are'are, Malaita Province during heavy seas associated with Tropical Cyclone Harold early last Friday.
Parliament to Re-convene Monday to Extend State of Public Emergency

Parliament to Re-convene Monday to Extend State of Public Emergency

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stated in his nationwide address today that the Speaker of Parliament has been notified to re-convene Parliament on Monday 6th April 2020.
Solomon Islands remains one of a very small number of countries in the world to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date.

Another Negative COVID 19 Test Result

The latest test for COVID-19 in Solomon Islands has returned negative. For the latest batch of tests two more are still pending.
This morning vehicles loaded with passengers, copra, cocoa and other local produce had to turn back, others looked for alternative transport.

Bridge Washed Away by Torrential Rain

The heavy downpour from TC Harold has inflicted serious damage to a bridge connecting communities in North West Guadalcanal to Honiara.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his recent visit.

Australia Supports Solomon Islands With SBD$70 Million to Combat COVID-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during a telephone conversation on 1 April that Australia’s support for the Solomon Islands in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic was utterly firm.
Harold a Category one cyclone is moving towards Rennel and Bellona and gaining strength.

Solomon Islands is Bracing Itself for Tropical Cyclone Harold

Last night Solomon Islands weather office issued the first tropical cyclone warning for all provinces.
President of HCMVA, Moreen Sarika suggested that a plan be implemented ahead of any possible outbreak of COVID19.

Market Vendors Propose Mobile Delivery

The Honiara Central Market Vendors Associations (HCMVA) is looking at creating a mobile delivery system for vendors at the Central Market should there be a locked down.
Shops in Compliance with Prices Set out by Government Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Shops in Compliance with Prices Set out by Government Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Shops in Honiara are complying with the prices of goods in their shops. Recently the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration issued a notice calling on all shops to maintain their prices.
Solomon Islands remains one of less than 20 countries in the world where there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date.

Solomon Islands Receives Two More NEGATIVE COVID-19 Test Results

Two more result for COVID-19 suspected cases in Solomon Islands have come back negative. The test results were confirmed by Ministry of Health after being sent for testing in Australia.