With the deadline looming, and preparations said to be behind schedule the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has thrown its full support to the Solomon Islands.

"Most countries hosting the festivals usually struggle right up until about 18 to 15 months before the festival and then adrenaline sets in and they have a much more focused," said Dr Rodgers, Director General of the SPC.

Dr Rodgers says that he has full confidence that the Solomon Islands will be able to meet agreed deadlines.

A committee, chaired by former Governor General, Sir George Lepping, is said to have mobilized a quarter of the resources needed to host the festival and is meeting its preparation milestones.

With the recent approval of Governments budget by Parliament, the committee chairman says that he could now begin the work in earnest.

More than 2,000 performers from around the Pacific are expected to attend, and thousands more are expected to visit Honiara during the week long event.

The committee is encouraging locals to start their own preparations now, especially in mass producing traditional bags, handicrafts and paintings.

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