Economy Archive August 2020

Hon. Seleso (L) and Hon. Ramofafia (R) with their Permanent Secretaries (standing centre) and representatives of the UN.

EU Provides Solomon Islands EUR 8 million to Heighten Service Delivery of Provincial Governments

The European Union and the Government of Solomon Islands have today signed a new Financing Agreement, which will see the EU provide EUR 8 million or nearly SBD 78 million to the Government of Solomon Islands to strengthen the Provincial Government’s governance system for service delivery within the provinces.
From Left, NRH Medical Superintendent and CEO (ag) Dr John Hue, Nursing and Biomedical Staff with Dr Kaeni Agiomea head of Aesthetic & Dr Carol Titiulu Consultant Paediatrician (front right)

NRH Commissions 4 New Pediatric Oxygen Concentrators

The National Referral Hospital (NRH) last week Friday commissioned four new paediatric oxygen concentrators donated by Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) in which the E-Club of Greater Sydney raised the funds for the donation totalling to over 5,500 AUD (more than 33,000 SBD).
Upon her return to Tulagi, Aziel says she will be continuing with her sewing business.

NZ Seasonal Worker Talks of Experience

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 400 Solomon Islands seasonal workers have been repatriated from New Zealand.
Solomon Airlines continues to operate flights domestically, but that has not been enough to sustain operational overheads - especially with the cancellation of international flights.

Solomon Airlines Reduce Staff by 20% Due to Impact of COVID-19

Solomon Airlines has today confirmed the company will regrettably reduce its workforce by approximately 20 percent making 59 staff positions redundant due to the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the airline’s operations.
Denty says that the project started a year ago, and when it is fully operational thousands of people in Weathercoast will soon have access to a fully fledged health care service.

Avuavu Mini Hospital Near Completion

People of Weathercoast will soon access better health services. By November this year, work should be complete on the newly constructed Avuavu mini hospital.
The SOLMAT team says all necessary safety protocols were adhered to during and after the assessment of the two fishermen. The police and SOLMAT set up a quarantine station where the two men are currently being held.

Busted At The Border: Two Fishermen From Bougainville Arrested and Quarantined

Two fishermen from Bougainville were arrested and charged for crossing into the Solomon Islands border on Wednesday 26th August, 2020.
“Some of the women walk great distances to catch telecommunication signal. Most times I have a hard time getting the women via mobile phone so I have no choice but to get in the boat to go get them”.

Risky But Worth It: The Challenges Of Women Empowerment in Rural Areas

“Gathering rural women to participate in such a gathering or forum can be quite challenging”, says Jacinta.
"Let us all assist the RSIPF to fight corruption. RSIPF cannot do it alone,” says RSIPF Commissioner Mangau.

JANUS Arrests and Charges Woman for Allegedly Stealing SBD$1.3 Million

JANUS, the Joint Task Force between the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) yesterday (25 August 2020) arrested and charged a Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) employee.
“When there is heavy rainfall it affects the water. Also when it's dry, it will also affect the water”, Jinalyn says.

Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation Lacking in Rural Areas

Proper coverage and access to clean water supply is lacking in rural areas in the Solomon Islands.
The prohibition order covers ratite meat, meat products, by products, eggs, egg products, live birds/chicken.

Temporary Ban on Imports of Poultry Products From Australia

The government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Biosecurity Department has temporarily banned importation of poultry products from Australia.
Premier Stanley Manetiva with the visiting team.

Women in Central Province Meet to Address Challenges

The first of the provincial women's forum is now underway in Tulagi, Central Islands province.
“I am appealing to members of the public to report any officer who issues an on-the-spot fine. Please report the matter to your nearest police station and provide evidence of the incident," says Police Commissioner Mangau.

Police Commissioner Urges Public to Report Officers That Demand On The Spot Fines

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) appeals to members of the public to report to their nearest police station any officer who demands an on-the-spot fine for any alleged offences.
Joseph Dili comes from Gwaedalo village in the Langalanga lagoon in the west coast of Malaita near the provincial capital, Auki.

Climate Change Is Real For Us

In villages throughout Solomon Islands, particularly coastal communities, one does not need science to prove the impact of climate change. Sea level rise is the most notable impact of climate change.
Undersecretary Teaching and Learning (Ag) in MEHRD, Ms. Linda Wate says these resources will be shared through four different mediums. Radio, television, print and online.

Ministry of Education Expands Learning Tools

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) have stepped up its game in providing resources for students at this time of COVID-19.
Dr Hou says thank you as he prepares to leave one of the government-managed Access Quarantine Station (QS) last week.

Returning Nationals Commend Government’s COVID-19 Response

“I must commend the Government and Supporting Agencies for their response approach to stem the deadly virus from reaching our shores,” Dr. Levi Hou, one of the hundreds of returning Solomon Islands national who have undergone the mandatory 14-days quarantine process said.
AMA University in the Philippines is host to a good number of Solomon Islands government sponsored students.

Uncertainty Looms for University Students in 2021

It is still uncertain whether government sponsored students repatriated back to the country will continue with their education in various regional institutions in 2021.
“The approval means that for any amount of deposits that youSave members make to their account using airtime credit, 10% of the amount deposited will be refunded directly to the members account.”

SIG Approves Tax Refund for Mobile Top-Ups Used as YouSave Deposits

The Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon Harry Kuma has approved tax refunds for airtime credits (mobile top-ups) used as youSave deposits.
He says RSIPF are monitoring their activities to ensure they are not a threat to communities.

“Stay Out of Trouble”: Police Boss Warns ‘Crips and Bloods’

The Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau has warned youths in Honiara to stay away from so-called gang groups like crips and bloods.
Mangau says the process for police recruitment is very competitive, with no room for favouritism or bias.

Mangau Clarify Police Recruitment Process

Police Commissioner, Mr. Mostyn Mangau has disputed claims that the police recruitment process was compromised.
Infrastructure is Our Lifeline: SICCI

Infrastructure is Our Lifeline: SICCI

Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) pitched its support behind the large pipeline of infrastructure projects as being a key factor in the country’s economic recovery.
Solomon Airlines Plans to Operate Special Charter to Samoa, Vanuatu and PNG

Solomon Airlines Plans to Operate Special Charter to Samoa, Vanuatu and PNG

With the approval of the Solomon Islands Government and subject to regulatory approval from the relevant foreign governments, Solomon Airlines is planning to operate a series of private charter flights 23 and 24 August serving Australia, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Five New Medical Ventilators Officially Handed to Ministry of Health

Five new medical ventilators have been officially handed to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) yesterday morning to strengthen its COVID-19 preparedness.
Cutting of the cake by Minister of Fisheries, Hon. Nestor Giro and PROP Coordinator, Samantha Tuti. Looking on SSWA Contractor, Simon Aita'a (left) and PS Fisheries, Dr Christain Ramofafia.

Minister Giro Opens Renovated Observer Program Office Building

Staff of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) witnessed the opening of a newly renovated building that will house the Observer Program office.

Solomon Airlines Confirms Cargo Flight Between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea

With the approval of the Papua New Guinea and New Zealand Governments, Solomon Airlines on Monday operated a cargo only flight between Auckland and Port Moresby after being awarded the contract to do so.
"With on-going flights, staffs are running the risk of fatigue, whilst equipment is at risk of technical malfunction”, NEOC says.

Solomon Islands Under Enormous Pressure to Keep COVID-19 Away

Five months into the whole of SIG Response to COVID-19, daily debriefing and observations have confirmed officials gradually experiencing fatigue.
“Strict control measures to prevent border crossings to and from both sides of the border are necessary to ensure we prevent the entry of COVID-19 into Solomon Islands in light of the situation in neighbouring Bougainville,” the Prime Minister said.

Gov’t Steps-up Border Security: PM

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Government has stepped up border security around the country’s international maritime boundaries.
Ms Kekea says the media thrives on accountability and transparency and it should fulfill that role it portrays in society.

MASI Concern Over Disregard of Workers and Businesses in the Media Industry

The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is concerned about the rising dismissal of workers in the media industry.
"The training workshop was very useful for the participants to better understand how they can effectively use COVID-19 information to raise awareness amongst groups of people with special needs across the country."

Building Capacity of People with Special Needs to Join Efforts Against COVID-19

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is delighted this week to have supported the initiatives of People with Disabilities Solomon Islands to raise awareness of COVID-19 to their target groups, mainly people with special needs across the country.
“The Institute could potentially be flagships for SINU where real expertise can be developed in the work that we’re doing that sustain our economy around our forestry, agriculture, oceans, and resources," explained Dr. Aqorau.

Dr. Transform Aqorau Joins SINU as Visiting Professor

Our very own and a renowned academic and SI appointed Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Transform Aqorau joins the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) as visiting Professor at the newly established Institute of Ocean, Islands, and Sustainable Development.
Utilizing young people’s potential as agents of change requires involving and empowering them in development, policies and supporting their participation at all levels especially regarding access to justice.

PSO Multi-provincial International Youth Day Celebration

International Youth Day is commemorated every year on August 12th. This year, the Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) is celebrating by bringing together young people for a cross city screening of local production ‘Juvenile’ and dialogue on youth justice, under the theme Youth Engagement for Global Action.
In recent weeks, Solomon Times Online has covered stories from rural farmers in both marine and land resources, asking for support from the government.

Work on Economic Stimulus Package Continues

Screening, approval and disbursement process of all applications for the Economic stimulus package is still continuing.
Manoj Dhari grew up in Gizo where he also went to Gizo community high school. He left school in the 1990s at just form three.

A Tale of Perseverance and Struggle

Finding a job in Solomon Islands can be quite challenging. In the country, unemployment serves as one of the indicators of economic status.
Resort manager, Manoj Dhari says local tourism should be encouraged so that operators like them can continue to provide employment and keep the economy going.

Fatboys Resort Push for Local Tourism

Tourism operator, Fatboys resort is hoping more emphasis is placed on domestic tourism.
Launching the book “Mekim and Selem Cocoa”. (L to R): Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ethel Frances; Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Sally-Anne Vincent; and Director of Solomon Islands Association of Rural Training Centres, Billy Mae.

MAL, MCILI and Australia High Commission Launch Cocoa Book for Villages

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) and the Australian High Commission launched a book that teaches remote communities how to grow and process cocoa into a range of food products that can be sold in villages and markets.
Anna continues to work hard in the plantation, to earn whatever income she can to look after her children.

Cocoa Provides Lifeline for Rural Women

Mothers are said to be the backbone of families no matter how much they struggle, most often than not they do so silently.
Mr. Elmar Elbling, Unit Head Solomon Islands Pacific Country Office, ADB, handing over some of the  PPEs to MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil in front of Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Office, Dr. Zelalem Taffesse.

Solomon Islands Receives Medical Supplies from ADB and UNICEF

Personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and procured by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), are being delivered to Solomon Islands to strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Women's Savings Group responded with 96 bags of rice for Kokona when Cyclone Harold hit the country earlier this year.

Kokona Women Splash out $100K from Savings

Women of Kokona Community in West Guadalcanal on Tuesday revealed a year-long worth of their savings club, with a remarkable display of SBD$103,465 (USD$12,570).
His Excellency Morimoto Yasuhiro, Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands handing over some of the Japanese funded PPEs to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministy of Health Mrs. Pauline McNeil, in front of Dr. Zelalem Taffesse, Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Field Office.

Japan supports UNICEF to Protect Children and Communities in Solomon Islands Against COVID-19 Pandemic

UNICEF welcomes a US$347,000 funding from the Government of Japan to boost on-going COVID-19 preparedness efforts in the Solomon Islands.
Under the 10th and 11th EDF, the Government of Solomon Islands and the EU have been working together to improve living conditions of the rural areas through better community infrastructures and services, including water and sanitation.

EU Supporting Efforts to Improve Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Solomon Islands

The European Union has this week released the final payment of EUR 6,450,000 (nearly SBD 60,000,000) to the Government of Solomon Islands as part of its partnership signed with the Government in 2014 to improve access to water and sanitation in rural areas, under the European Development Fund (10th EDF).
Wendy Saki Besa’a, a cassava out-grower got her signed agreement from MAL PS, Ethel Francis as Sape Farm Managing Director, Dr. Paul Bosawai Popora (right) and Undersecretary Technical Michael Ho’ota (from back row) looks on.

Partnership Brings Hope for Rural Women Farmers

Rural women farmers in the Guadalcanal Plains has expressed gratitude to the government through the Ministry of the Agriculture and Livestock for bringing market opportunities right down to their doorsteps.
The businesses are members of a Coconut Industry Working Group supported by the SICCI Export Development Department with funding from the Rural Development Program (RDP).

Coconut Working Group Appreciates Opportunity to Voice Concerns with PIMEU

The Export Industry Development Department of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on Friday 31 July facilitated a consultation meeting between business operators from the coconut industry and representatives from the Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PIMEU) within the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Tax Administrative Incentives for Businesses

The Solomon Islands Government through the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) is looking at granting tax administrative incentives to businesses that are seriously affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic as part of its economic response plan.
"I was in tears when I saw mothers with their babies scramble up the hill to access health services. I could not help them because I also have my family that I need to support”, says Nester.

Challenges Faced Without a Clinic

“One time they had to carry a sick man in a copra bag uphill to the clinic because there was no stretcher”, Nester Iputu tells.

Father Arrested for Alleged Sexual Abuse of 15-yr-old Daughter

Officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) at Tulagi in Central Province have arrested and charged a father on 19 July 2020 with five counts for alleged sexually abusing his 15-year-old daughter.
"Anyone receiving seeds that they did not order should not open the packets or plant the seeds," Michael Wallace, director of communications at Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, told VOA.

Mystery Seeds Arriving in US Said to be From Solomon Islands

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) is said to be investigating suspicious packets containing seeds from China and the Solomon Islands.
One of the participants at the recent workshop organized by the Western Province Council of Women.

Western Province Council of Women Connects to Shortland with New Ward Council

The Western Province Council of Women (WPCW) successfully formed another ward council for the women of Shortland Islands, a milestone achievement that now directly connects women from both the inner and outer regions of the district.