The Solomon Islands Government officially on August 6 had received a Grant Assistance of K4 Million (SBD$11 Million) from the Papua New Guinea Government for the education and training of Solomon Islands students studying at various Papua New Guinea tertiary institutions.The Grant Assistance was officially handed over to the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency, Mr Bernard Bata'anisia, by the Acting Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Mr Elias R Wohengu, at a brief ceremony in the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Waigani yesterday. The ceremony was also witnessed by staff of the Department.
The Grant Assistance is to pay for the tuition fees, boarding and allowances of Solomon Islands students currently studying in the various tertiary institutions in Papua New Guinea.
The K4 Million Assistance is for the 2009 academic year and is part of the K23 Million pledged by the current Papua New Guinea Government in 2006 to support the education and training of Solomon Islands Government sponsored students in Papua New Guinea. Part of the Grant Assistance is also used to fund the construction of the New Solomon Islands High Commission Chancery Building complex in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
In presenting the Grant Assistance, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Papua New Guinea, Mr Wohengu said that the Grant Assistance was in direct response to the Solomon Islands Government request. The acting Secretary said that the Government of Papua New Guinea was very pleased to extend a helping hand to its closest neighbor, Solomon Islands. Papua New Guinea Government has also previously given other assistance to Solomon Islands.
He added that the assistance gives effect to the commitments made on development and technical cooperation and assistance agreed between the two countries under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) relating to the Development Assistance formally signed between the two countries in 2006.
In receiving the Grant Assistance, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency, Mr Bernard Bata'anisia, on behalf of the Government of Solomon Islands, thanked the Government of Papua New Guinea for the Grant Assistance, which will go a long way in meeting the education and training needs of Solomon Islands. He added that the Grant Assistance will go towards the support of education and training of Solomon Islands students studying at the various tertiary institutions in Papua New Guinea in 2009 and 2010.
'This Grant Assistance is also a manifestation of the close bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands and will no doubt strengthen the relations between the two countries', added High Commissioner Bata'anisia.
Since 2006, Papua New Guinea Government has given to Solomon Islands Government, a total of K11 Million (SBD$30 Million) to support the education and training of Solomon Islands students in Papua New Guinea.
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