The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Fred Fono held a press conference yesterday to defend the governments much touted rural development policy.

Hon. Fred Fono called the press conference in response to an article written in the Solomon Star by Alfred Sasako, a longtime journalist and former politician.

Hon. Fono said that criticisms made by Mr. Sasako that the rural development fund has not reached the rural areas were not true.

Hon. Fono emphasized that the statement made were wrong, as there are strong records of funds disbursed to improve the livelihood of those living in the rural areas.

He said that the development projects for 2008, facilitated by the Ministry of Rural Development, have already been approved and some in the process of being implemented. "There are people from various constituencies that have received their development funds for their projects, which were paid through the Ministry of Finance," he added. "That is why I am here to defend the government in response to the statement published last week," said Hon. Fono.

Hon. Fred Fono also gave another example of the government's tireless efforts in advancing its rural development policy. "One example of rural development and rural advancement is the repairing of roads in the provinces with the help of donor partners," he said. "Another is the upgrading of the Seghe airport in Western province."