HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $5 million grant to Solomon Islands to support the government's delivery of improved public investment and basic social services.
The grant will assist the government to implement policy reforms that maintain a strong fiscal position while delivering expanded more equitable services. The reforms are based on the country's long-term National Development Strategy, 2011-2020.
The program grant follows on from the Economic Recovery Support program approved by ADB in 2010, which helped the government weather the global economic crisis. The economy recovered strongly, largely due to coordinated support from development partners including ADB, Australia, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, New Zealand, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, and the World Bank.
"Economic prospects in Solomon Islands now rest on creating a more enabling environment for the private sector and this will contribute to economic growth and generate greater job opportunities for Solomon Islanders," said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB's Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia.
The program will support economic and financial reforms to achieve better financial management, create greater economic efficiency for a business-enabling environment, and provide broader access to services.
The program's key activities include assisting the government with improving fiscal management, strengthening the budgeting and planning processes, improving accountability and performance of state-owned enterprises, helping reduce the cost of doing business in Solomon Islands, and increasing transparency in the resources sector.
Budget support provided under the program will enable increased government expenditure for social services in health and education that matter most to the poor, women, and the vulnerable. The government has adopted policy plans to improve equitable access to social services. Particular emphasis is on improving access for girls to senior secondary and vocational education and training.