The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting on 15 December 2020 has approved a US$23 million Threshold Program for Solomon Islands.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a bilateral United States foreign aid agency established by the U.S. Congress in 2004, applying a new philosophy toward foreign aid. It is an independent agency separate from the State Department and USAID.

The Threshold Program for Solomon Islands will cover two projects. The Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP) and the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) project.

The FoVEP project is targeted at natural resource management particularly conserving forest ecosystems. It will work through an economically viable community based resource management program that aligns and takes into account the customary uses of forests resources and to leverage the direct results of alternative forest management as well as facilitate incremental improvements in the regulatory and institutional framework in the forestry sector.

The FoVEP project activities are expected to create viable alternative approaches to forest utilization and management and support a transition to other sustainable sources of economic growth apart from logging.

The ALTIF project aims to facilitate access to land to support tourist leisure accommodations to at least three or four star rating.

The key objectives of the FoVEP project will target land activities through social licensing, developing a portfolio of potential opportunities to investors and help develop structures and support to respond to investor needs to facilitate investment. The FoVEP project will also have a natural resource management focus to support environmental protection.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States of America was created in 2004 as a new and different model of development assistance that focuses on reducing poverty through economic growth.

MCC provides two types of non-reimbursable grant assistance, known as Compacts and Threshold programs to countries committed to good democratic governance, economic freedom, and investing in their citizens.

Solomon Islands was selected as eligible to participate in the MCC’s Threshold Program in 2018 and in 2019, MCC in collaboration with the Solomon Islands Government started developing the Threshold program.

The Grant Agreement signing for the MCC Threshold program is expected to take place in April 2021 and implementation to start by September 2021.

Source: GCU