The Taiwanese Government will fund the National Population and Housing Census Preparatory Project.

The Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, George Chan formally released the $3.27 million aid package for the project yesterday to the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua.

Upon receiving the aid package, Dr Sikua says the project will further enhance villager and community participation in national economic development and progress.

While announcing the aid package to Prime Minister Sikua, Ambassador Chan said complete and detailed demographic data and information will be helpful for the Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government when formulating and mapping out development programs and projects.

He believes that through the National Population and Housing Census Preparatory Project, the collected data will facilitate planning and implementation of the current government's rural advancement approach policy.

Ambassador Chan further stated that the project will also be used to analyze household welfare, including the effects of government policies on living conditions and how households behave in response to changes in the economic environment, adding information on infrastructure, schools and health facilities derives from data collected in the project.

Ambassador Chan is sure the rural people would benefit from the project.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Sikua said 'big thank you' to Ambassador Chan and the Taiwanese Government for the assistance to the Solomon Islands Government.

He pointed out that the project has justified one more time Taiwan's firm determination to help its ally in rural development.

Dr Sikua says the project will pave the way for the National Population and Housing Census to be carried out in Solomon Islands next year. The last national census was held in 1999.