Economy Archive June 2020

"This is important for this economic stimulus package roll out that all of our people, particularly the rural sector which this economic stimulus package is targeting, are given the benefit of firsthand information from the national government," Robson Djokovic said.

Deadline for Stimulus Package Extended for Rural Communities

Applications for the government’s US$37.5 million stimulus package has been extended for those who live in the rural areas.
Aside from providing mush needed protein, inshore fishery is an important source of income for local fisherman. A report in 2015 suggests that inshore fishery is worth close to SBD$90 million annually.

Overfishing Highlighted in State of our Coral Reefs Report

Solomon Islands boasts some of the richest fishing grounds in the Western and Central Pacific basin.

MHMS: COVID-19 Testing Machines, Operational

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) would like to correct statements recently made in the media that a COVID-19 testing machine donated by one of our partners is not yet operational due to calibration, technical and language issues.
This is the second time in the recent past certain loggers have tried to evade tax by loading round logs into containers for export. In November 2019, twenty containers were seized by customs after it was discovered that they were full of kwila round logs.

Wale Commends Comptroller of Customs for Impounding Tubi Logs

The Opposition Leader, Hon Matthew Wale commends the Comptroller of Customs for impounding a shipment of tubi last week, and urges the government to quickly deal with the overlaps in the relevant laws dealing with protected plant species which provides a loophole for abuse by dubious loggers and officials.
Police Meets with Western Province to Discuss Future Plans

Police Meets with Western Province to Discuss Future Plans

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Assistant Commissioner (AC) Provincial, Joseph Manelugu met with the Provincial Secretary (PS) for Western Province Jeffery Wickham at Gizo on 23 June 2020.
What they found were impressive reefs covered with abundant and diverse coral communities, but few fish. Most of the big fish were gone, and many of the nearshore reefs appeared to be overfished.

The State of Coral Reefs in the Solomon Islands

Scientists at the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) have published a report on the status of coral reefs in the Solomon Islands.
She says the plight of women at the market was also neglected for a long time. She says as mothers, authorities should consider their health and wellbeing as well as their safety at the marketplace.

Do Not Ignore Us

At the car park with only small card boxes to shelter from the hot sun was market vendor Janet Lilly.
ADB's assistance is also helping finance the government's economic stimulus package, which addresses the impacts of COVID-19. This includes measures to support small businesses; the farming and commercial fishing sectors; as well as capital injections into state-owned enterprises, such as Soltuna and Solomon Airlines.

ADB Approves USD$20M to Help Solomon Islands Fight COVID-19 and Impact on Economy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD$20 million to help the Government of Solomon Islands combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its impact on the country's economy.
“I farm mostly watermelons. Potato and cucumber are substitutes for when I am yet to harvest my watermelons”, Kake says.

Central Market Our Beacon of Hope

The Honiara Central Market is the hub of market activities for farmers and resellers. Thousands of Honiara residents frequent the market daily for their grocery.
In Solomon Islands the rotavirus was first detected in 2014 during the diarrhea outbreak along the Guadalcanal plains and Honiara in the aftermath of the April flash flooding.

Rotavirus Vaccine Launched in Solomon Islands

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) this week launched the introduction of a new vaccine into the Solomon Islands National Immunization schedule, the Rotavirus Vaccine.
He says people will continue to work together and live in harmony in a peaceful community if these standards are upheld.

Guadalcanal Elder Calls for Return of Cultural Norms

An elder from Guadalcanal is concerned about the way of life in the rural community nowadays.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan reads gifted books to children at Papagu Early Childhood Development Centre.

Australia Provides SBD$5.7M to Help Solomon Islands Children Be COVID Safe

COVID-19 has disrupted children’s learning around the world this year. That’s why Australia is supporting Save the Children’s preparedness and response activities in the education sector in Solomon Islands with an additional SBD$5.7 million grant.
“I therefore call on the government to stop dancing to Beijing’s tune and prioritise our people’s health and safety,” Hon. Wale adds.

Stop Towing Beijing’s Line: Opposition Leader

Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale has hit out again at the seizure of COVID medical equipment donated to Malaita Province by Taiwan on 11 June.
Chairman Acting of SINPF Dr Aaron Oritaimae thanked the government in giving the opportunity for the SINPFB to purchase the bond amidst the uncertainty of our economy and falling markets when credible investment opportunities are hard to come by.

SINPF Purchase Remaining SBD$60M Development Bonds

The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund Board (SINPFB) has purchased the remaining $60M of the government’s $120 million covid-19 development bond on Friday 19 June 2020. The other $60M were earlier purchased by the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority and Solomon Islands Ports Authority.
In light of the severity of COVID-19’s impact on tourism operators, the SITIDF Board determined a framework to redirect funds to provide emergency assistance to approved tourism operators.

SITIDF Channels Emergency Aid to Tourism Sector

The Solomon Islands Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund (SITIDF) is providing emergency funds to approved tourism operators.
“We urgently need water for our staff houses and our student’s dormitory, and water for our agriculture division to ensure our crops survive.

DIVIT RTC on North Guadalcanal Still Without Water Since TC Harold

Two months after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold passed through the Solomon Islands DIVIT rural training centre at Visale on North West Guadalcanal is still without clean drinking water.
“If the government thinks it is important to prosecute members of the public who breach restrictions, it must do the same also for officials who blatantly fail their duties to protect the public at our borders,” Hon. Wale further added.

Wale Calls for Investigation into Entry of 3 Foreign Sailors

The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale blasts the government and calls for an investigation into last week’s blunder which resulted in 3 foreign crew members from an incoming yacht, freely wandering ashore on arrival.
“I appeal to our young girls who may be experiencing issues such as teenage pregnancy to approach someone you trust in your community so they can help you get through the problem," says PPC Lenialu.

Police Arrests and Charges 18 YO Female Student for Alleged Infanticide

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) at the Gizo Police Station in Western Province have arrested and charged an 18-year-old Form 4 female student at Eleoteve Community High School on Vella la Vella Island in Western Province on 17 June 2020.
He says regulation 23 prohibits a person from spreading rumors and false information during the state of public emergency that is likely to create or foster public alarm, anxiety or disaffection or to produce public detriment.

Prime Minister Reiterates Call for Media to be Responsible

In his nationwide address on Friday, Sogavare made a call on the media to be more responsible and to exercise the required ethics and standards that is expected of them.
Three Expatriates Evaluated for Risk of COVID-19

Three Expatriates Evaluated for Risk of COVID-19

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) received a report on alleged presence of three expatriates at the Yacht Club on June 19, 2020, who entered Solomon Islands in contravention to the Orders prohibiting the entry of Yachts into Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare says all of those in quarantine have undergone COVID-19 tests and all their results were negative.

Honiara Quarantine Facilities Now Empty

As of 12 noon Friday 19th June, all persons that came through Australia, Vanuatu and Fiji have been discharged from the quarantine facilities.
With four children to look after, Peter finds himself in a situation where he was not able to support his family anymore.

A Father’s Sacrifice

With fear, Peter discreetly set up his mini market at the Henderson area. Peter is 38 years of age. He lived most of his life at Henderson, just outside of Honiara, but within the emergency zone.
Choiseul sector committee members during their recent meeting.

More Awareness Conducted in Choiseul Province

Choiseul Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) has successfully coordinated another round of community awareness carried out by their working sector committees.
The Camp Management Committee says that it welcomes this initiative as it will ensure children affected by quarantine are able to benefit from learning materials.

Protection Sector Committee Donates Children’s Kit

Protection sector committee has delivered children’s kit to the camp Management committee last week.
Smiley Giobauta, IFC's country officer for Solomon Islands and Dr Luke Forau, Central Bank Governor, after the signing.

IFC Signs Agreement with the CBSI to Improve Credit Reporting

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to improve credit reporting in the country and improve access to finance for people and micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Rabinabou joined One Link on 7th January this year. Since joining the scheme, he has not received any interest from the money he deposited.

'Where is My Money': One Link Member Asks?

A father of four has called on ONE LINK PASIFIKA to clarify whether his money will be refunded or not.
Solomon Airlines advises that all flights will comply with the COVID-19 regulations and requirements of the relevant countries.

Repatriation Flights for Eligible Travellers in Vanuatu, Fiji and Australia

With the approval of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji Governments, Solomon Airlines will operate a further series of repatriation flights on 1 July, linking Vanuatu, Fiji and Australia with the Solomon Islands.
Premier Maka’a said the wharf will be a shining beacon for Makira Ulawa Province and its people.

Kira Kira Wharf, a Century Gift for Makira: Premier Maka’a.

Makira Ulawa Province has been given what the Provincial Premier, Mr. Julian Maka’a has described as the Gift of the Century, the Kira Kira Wharf and Ramp.
Training is being provided by Robert Waisu, a local cocoa specialist and trainer.

Australia Gives Training to Support Cocoa Farmers

The Australian Government initiative, Strongim Bisnis, through its partnership with Cathliro Commodity Development Limited, has supported training for 84 cocoa farmers. This training aims to help farmers improve the quality of their cocoa and increase their income from cocoa.
Mr Ricky George hands over keys to Mr Patterson Lusi of MFMR.

Local Contractor Beats Odds Despite Pandemic

Managing Director of R&D Construction Company says it was not an easy task directing a construction project during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“RSIPF condemns such action in the strongest term. Police will not tolerate anyone committing such action on our young girls," says PPC Lenialu.

Two Male Suspects Arrested For Indecent Act on Underage Girls

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force at Gizo Police Station in the Western Province have arrested two male suspects for allegedly committing an indecent act on two underage girls at Buleana Village, Vella la Vella Island on 24 May 2020.
A recent research says that the demand for telehealth will soar by 64.3% in the U.S and perhaps more globally in 2020.

SINU Establish Medical Emergency Platform Online

An emergency online platform was created by the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).

24 Released from Quarantine

A number of persons serving the mandatory quarantine period at various Institutional Quarantine Facilities have been released. Out of a total of 158 occupants 24 were released yesterday.
Ms Ata continues: "Given our in-country new testing capability for COVID-19, SICCI is of the view that quarantine time for both shipping vessels and incoming passengers should now be revisited and reduced with commensurate ramping up of other mitigating measures.”

SICCI On Quarantine Period & Shipping Exemption Committee

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) acknowledges the Solomon Islands Government and its relevant bodies for taking into consideration requests from businesses in regards to travel restrictions and the impacts.
All around the world, as countries decide how to restart international travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of a travel bubble, sometimes called a travel corridor, is gaining steam.

SICCI Proposes Inclusion of Solomon Islands in ‘Travel Bubble’

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) proposes that the Government promotes the inclusion of Solomon Islands to be in the Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble.
Labule says most issues raised on Guadalcanal were met with poor, imbalance, unfair decisions because women were not part of the process.

Guadalcanal Woman Reiterates Call for Active Participation in Tribal Matters

Tadai woman, Ms. Vitalina Labule said women should be allowed to participate in tribal discussions within their society.
“There is certainly room in the economy for another financier that can meet funding requirements not all banks and financial institutions can currently provide due to their individual appetites and target markets."

SICCI on Re-opening of DBSI

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) announced its support for the reformation of the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).
It has been established that those responsible for the incident were members of a local security company and not the CRU or any other police officer.

RSIPF Innocent of ‘Police Brutality’ Story in Island Sun

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) categorically denies that any of its officers including members of the Central Response Unit (CRU) in Honiara City were involved in the “Police Brutality” story which appeared in the Island Sun newspaper today.
Australian Deputy High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincent (centre) farewells 2020 Australia Awards scholars.

Applications for Prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships Close 30 June

Applications for the 2021 Australia Awards Scholarships intake will close on 30 June 2020. Australia Awards Scholarships provide successful Solomon Islanders with the skills and knowledge to drive change and influence economic and social development.
Australian and New Zealand travellers, he said, form the bulk of the country’s international visitor intake and allowing the destination to be included in the bubble would have a major impact in resetting the Solomon Islands economy which relies heavily on tourism as one of its key sources of foreign exchange earnings.

Covid 19-free Solomon Islands Pushes for ‘Pacific bubble’ Inclusion

Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto has called on the Australian and New Zealand governments to ask for their active consideration in allowing the COVID-19 free Solomon Islands to be included in a potential ‘South Pacific travel bubble’ when international travel restrictions are finally lifted.
This decision is made in line with the Bank’s expansionary monetary policy stance in March and aims to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on the economy.

CBSI Eases Cash Reserves Requirement

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) has made changes to the Cash Reserves Requirement (CRR) as part of its responses to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Minister Tovosia said the Tina River Hydropower Project continues to remain a priority project for the Solomon Islands.

Australia Commits Additional SBD$1.9M Funding Towards Tina Hydro

Australia has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to the Tina River Hydropower Development Project by providing an additional SBD$1.9 million to support its Project Office.
The suspect is now remanded and will appear in the Central Magistrates’ Court at a later date.

34 YO Arrested for Murder

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Tulagi have arrested a 34-year-old male suspect for the alleged murder of a 40-year-old male person at Haleta Village in Central Province on 29 May 2020.
PPC Riolo says, “Someone could have lost their life if the dangerous weapon was not discovered by police.”

Police Arrest Man with Firearm

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) in Honiara have arrested an adult male person after a firearm was discovered inside his vehicle during the early hours of Saturday 6 June 2020 at Guzo Point in the Bahai area of East Honiara.
He said the government sponsored students at the local university need an explaination.

Honiara SIG Students’ Questions Covid-19 Relief Allowance

Government sponsored students at the local university are questioning if they are also eligible to receive SBD $5000.00 support from the government.
Emergency Response Team Lauds Red Cross Continuous Support

Emergency Response Team Lauds Red Cross Continuous Support

The National Emergency Response Team (NERT) has acknowledge the continuous support which Solomon Islands Red Cross (SIRC) has rendered towards the National Disaster Operation Committee (N-DOC) and Provincial Disaster Committee (P-DOC) preparedness and response plans.
Secretary of PJ Twomey Memorial Hospital Reverend Caleb Kotali who plays an important role for their community’s preparedness plans.

Sasamunga COVID-19 Committee on Stand-by Mode

Sasamunga COVID-19 committees continues to monitor and maintain their preparedness and response plan to stem any possible importation of the deadly virus.
The project of the tilapia facility in Aruligo is in two phases. The first phase includes construction of two buildings while the second phase is the breeding pool for the tilapia.

Tilapia Facility Shaping Up

Work on the National Tilapia Facility at Aruligo, North West Guadalcanal is now taking shape.
Restriction to traditional border crossing has negatively affect the small-scale trading activities of Shortland outer island communities whose livelihoods depend on frequently crossing borders buying and selling goods.

Border Communities: Economic Stimulus Package Team Must Consider Us

The closing of the Solomon Islands/Papua New Guinea border has negatively affect the small-scale trading activities of Shortland outer island communities whose livelihoods depend on frequently crossing borders buying and selling goods.
“We need space for the one meter distancing within the lecture theatres and classes. So to accommodate everyone we have to shift the timetable to make it flexible for everyone,” Lonamei said.

National University Extends Class Hours

The National University has extended its class hours to 13.
Senior Immigration Officer, Billy Guporo, during the discussions.

Noro Frontliners Call for Quick Action

Government agencies working at the front line in the country’s fishing town, Noro, has called on the national government to build quarantine and isolation centres as soon as possible.
Solomon Airlines Confirms One Way Honiara-Brisbane Repatriation Flight

Solomon Airlines Confirms One Way Honiara-Brisbane Repatriation Flight

With the approval of the Solomon Islands Government, Solomon Airlines will operate its next one way repatriation flight from Honiara to Brisbane on Friday 19 June 2020.
Despite such challenges she remains optimistic. She continues to look for new buyers, and where possible help her relatives in Simbo sell their produce.

Hoping for a Better Tomorrow

It is hard enough being a single mother, the challenges posed by the pandemic makes a difficult situation worse.
A satisfied PM Sogavare gives a thumbs up to the camera as he is about to enter into the Service Center of the new DBSI.

Government Affirms Commitment to DBSI

The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) has affirmed its commitment to the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).
Government Statistician and Census Commissioner, Douglas Kimi (L) and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, McKinnie Dentana.

Inflation Drops 0.4% in April

The country’s inflation also known as the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) has dropped 0.4 per cent to 112.2 in April 2020.
L-R Minister of Finance Hon. Harry Kuma, Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, DBSI Interim CEO Tukana Bovoro and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Maelanga.

Policy Achievement: DCGA Launches DBSI

The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) has today officially launched the new Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).
Government architects inspecting the Nusatupe Island Accommodation for quarantine purposes.

COVID-19 Facilities for Western and Choiseul Assessed and Awaits Implementation

Institutional Quarantine Facilities (IQF’s) and Isolation Units for Western and Choiseul Province has been identified, assessed, and awaits improvement works.
Two female in a group of 69 recruits who completed their training at the Police Academy at the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Headquarters in Honiara have won three out of the five awards given at the end of the training today.

Two Female Police Recruits Receive Special Awards

Two female in a group of 69 recruits who completed their training at the Police Academy at the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Headquarters in Honiara have won three out of the five awards given at the end of the training on Friday.
An example of this practice was the evasion of tax on smuggled goods. In August 2019 Customs officers intercepted an attempt to smuggle 544 sleeves of cigarettes in a commercial shipment of goods destined for a local trader.

Manufacturers Call for Fairness in Enforcement of Compliance Issues

Manufacturers in Solomon Islands are calling on the government to be fair when it comes to compliance issues.
Australia and Solomon Islands are partners in the Gavi Alliance. Australia’s support will help immunise 140 million children in the Indo-Pacific region by 2025, including in Solomon Islands.

Improving Access to Vaccines for Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands children will now have greater access to vaccines through Australia’s new pledge of AUD 300 million to the Vaccine Alliance.

GP Vows to Support Traditional Leaders

The Guadalcanal provincial Government has vowed to support all House of Chiefs within Guadalcanal province.
The inauguration of the Tandai house of chiefs was held at Tamboko village, North West Guadalcanal over the weekend.

Council of Chiefs on Guadalcanal to Work in Partnership

The Ghaubata paramount Chief, Mr. John Seketala has commended the Tandai house of chiefs.
In opening the workshop, MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil highlighted that all issues including those pertaining to the SOPs of various health teams identified during the recent COVID-19 simulation exercise will be dealt with in the workshop.

MHMS’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Workshop Underway

The Ministry of Health and Medical Service’s (MHMS) is currently holding its five days’ COVID-19 emergency response training workshop in Honiara while the National Health Emergency Operations Centre (NEHOC) is on standby mode for activation at short notice.
Visitors from Australia, the biggest source of tourists, tumbled 41.0 per cent to 1,626 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 where the figure was 2,757.

Tourist Arrivals Fall 48.6% Due to Covid-19

The number of tourist arrivals in Solomon Islands fell 48.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 due to impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide and in our region, the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office said, Wednesday 3 June.
Policy Secretary of the Productive Sector Dr. Samson Viulu from the government’s policy unit discusses with workers of a coconut milling station in Poro village.

ESP Committee Continues to Spread Message

Members of the Economic Stimulus Committee continues to reach out to rural communities to spread awareness about the Government’s initiative.
“The global and domestic measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are severely affecting the Solomon Islands’ economy, through their impact on commodities exports, tourism, and domestic activity," said Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Chair.

IMF Disburse US$28.5 Million to Solomon Islands to Address COVID-19 Pandemic

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a disbursement to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands for an amount of SDR 20.8 million (about US$28.5 million, 100 percent of quota).
Chief Ludovick Kaulake says one of the main outcomes of the meeting is the suspension of some of its yearly social and cultural activities.

Tamboko Community Serious About Social-distancing Measures

Leaders in Tamboko are serious about social distancing, so serious that they are looking at limiting all public gatherings and social activities held in their community.
He says the specialised cartridges have been developed specifically for COVID-19, but it can be used in existing TB GeneXpert testing machines.

TB GeneXpert Machine Could Pave Way for COVID-19 Testing in Gizo

As part of their emergency response plans, Gizo health authorities are proposing that the Tuberculosis (TB) GeneXpert machine in Gizo hospital be used to test for COVID-19.
Suspicious Death of Foreign National Investigated

Suspicious Death of Foreign National Investigated

The National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is investigating the suspicious death of a 71-year-old Australian national whose body was discovered on his yacht anchored at the Mbokona Bay in Honiara on 29 May 2020.
"A preliminary breath test was conducted and it was discovered the officer had no presence of alcohol in his blood."

Police Investigates Traffic Accident Involving Officers

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the National Traffic Department is investigating a traffic incident involving a police officer in a police vehicle at the East Kola Ridge junction in Honiara on 28 May 2020.
Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread malaria parasite worldwide, with up to two billion people at risk of infection.

New Diagnostic Blood Test Could Help Eliminate Malaria

An international collaborative team from PROS Ehime University and CellFee Science, Japan; the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Australia; Pasteur Institute, France; and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Switzerland developed a new diagnostic blood test which detects recent exposure to ‘vivax’ malaria.
IFC surveyed nine Solomon Islands companies from the Waka Mere initiative during April and May.

IFC Is Supporting Solomon Islands Companies Through The COVID-19 Crisis

Solomon Islands companies surveyed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have all experienced an impact from COVID-19 on their businesses, with 89 percent of them experiencing a reduction in demand and 78 percent a reduction in turnover or cash flow.