Solomon Islands and Australia have begin a new era of cooperation with the transfer of RAMSI’s development programs to the Solomon Islands - Australia Partnership for Development.
The Partnership for Development expands to include Australian funded RAMSI programs in governance, elections and law and justice. This complements ongoing efforts through the Partnership to improve the delivery of health and education services, increase access to water and sanitation, promote rural development and maintain vital transport infrastructure.
The Minister for Development Planning & Aid Coordination, Connelly Sandakabatu said the Partnership for Development has existed since 2009 and plays a critical role in supporting the Government deliver essential services to Solomon Islanders.
“The transition of RAMSI programs to the Partnership recognises the country’s great progress over the last 10 years. But it also recognises that our development challenges are best dealt with through a Partnership for Development which provides long term planning and funding certainty,” Minister Sandakabatu said.
“As agreed at the recent annual Partnership talks, we will integrate state-building and peace-building themes into the expanded Partnership. But now is the time for Solomon Islanders to lead the country’s development for the benefit of our people.”
“Our relationship with Australia has grown over the years and we value the Partnership because of its very practical assistance offered Solomon Islands. The Government and people of Solomon Islands look forward to Australia’s ongoing support through the expanded Partnership,” Minister Sandakabatu said.
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said the expanded Partnership reflects Australia’s strong commitment to Solomon Islands.
“The new Partnership continues to support the Solomon Islands Government’s priorities in their National Development Strategy and our shared efforts are making a real difference to improve the lives of all Solomon Islanders,” Mr Anderson said.
The agreed priorities of the expanded Solomon Islands-Australia Partnership for Development are health, education, justice, broad-based growth and governance. RAMSI continues as a police focussed mission supporting the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for a further four more years.
Australia is the largest donor to Solomon Islands, providing more than SBD$1.4 billion (A$187.9 million) in development assistance in 2013–14.
Source: Press Release, Australian Aid, Solomon Islands