The Solomon Islands Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had signed the agreement to finance and execute the Land and Maritime Connectivity Project in Honiara. The project aims to improve connectivity, efficiency, and disaster resilience of the transportation network in Solomon Islands.
Minister for Finance and Treasury. Hon. Harry Kuma and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Director General Ms. Leah Gutierrez signed the financing agreement in the presence of senior Government officials of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ministry of Infrastructure Development, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“I wish to thank the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for continuous financial support to the Solomon Islands. The project is timely as Solomon Islands is preparing to host the South Pacific Games in 2023 and it is designed to provide better and improve transport connectivity in the country”, said Hon. Harry Kuma.
Hon. Kuma stated that the project will provide land and maritime infrastructures, ensuring access to basic services, increase income generating opportunities and promoting social cohesiveness. It is aligned with the Government’s National Development Strategy objectives particularly improving infrastructures for better access to essential services and markets.
Meanwhile the Asian Development Bank stated, “Considering 80% of the population lives in rural areas, this new investment project will have a measurable impact on the lives of many people in Solomon Islands,” said Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department, Leah Gutierrez.
The Land and Maritime Connectivity project key activities includes the rehabilitation and upgrading of about 35 kilometres (km) of roads in and around the capital, Honiara, which include the Point-Cruz to White River Main Road rehabilitation, the Henderson Airport to Barande Bridge; the construction of two provincial wharves at Ahanga, Rennel and Bellona, and Kira Kira, in Makira Province; and the reconstruction and improvement of the old wharf in Honiara International Port.
The project will be funded through a multitranche financing facility (MFF) to Solomon Islands. MFF in an amount total of up to (i) $74.42 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources in concessional terms and (ii) $74.46 million from ADB’s Special Funds resources (Asian Development Fund) to help finance the project. The MFF will consist of three tranches, implemented over 8 years.
The signing of the agreements is the first tranche of the MFF. The project comprises a loan of US$24,420,000 and grant of US$19,460,000. The first tranche implementing period is 30 June 2023 with The Ministry of Finance and Treasury is the executing agency while the Ministry of Infrastructure Development will implement the project.