The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has acknowledged and assured of its support towards the new European Union-funded project worth around 4.6 million SBD with the People with Disabilities in Solomon Islands or PWDSI.
The project aims to support PWDSI and disabled people’s organizations in Solomon Islands to enhance recognition, respect, equality and justice for them.
In her remarks at the launch of the project today (Thursday 15th Sept) Mrs. Pauline McNeil, Health Permanent Secretary (PS) expressed sincere appreciation and thanks to the EU for the project whilst assuring of the Ministry’s support since the Ministry is the focal point ministry for people with disability.
She highlighted that the support and launch of the project is timely as the Ministry with wonderful support from the PWDSI and relevant organizations have finalized the Solomon Islands National Disability Inclusive Development Policy.
“We are progressing the last stage in the finalization of the Solomon Islands National Disability Inclusive Development Policy before endorsement through MHMS and Cabinet”,
This policy embraces people with disabilities as center of this policy in terms of implementation, monitoring and evaluation including the significant of their participation in decision making.
This policy recognizes that disability is a public health issue, human rights issue and development priority thus anticipates collaborative and multi sector approach towards its implementation, M& E and coordination.
Mrs McNeil highlighted that the project complements the implementation of the priority areas of this policy as highlighted in the scope and outcomes of the project thus the Ministry is very much pleased with the alignment.
“As the Government disability focal Ministry we see this project as a milestone in the development of disability in the country and the Ministry is anticipating to strengthening the collaboration with this call again for a Memorandum of Understanding with DPASI and also other stakeholders”, said Mrs. McNeil.
European Union Ambassador, Head of the EU Union Delegation for the Pacific, His Excellency (H.E) Mr Sujiro Seam said it is a pleasure for EU to be providing support in this regard and looks forward to the project implementation to ensure that those with disability and vulnerable members of the society are served well and well supported.
“We hope that our investment into the area will bring about a difference to the lives of Solomon Islanders especially those with disabilities. This is the end result we all should work hard and work hard together towards and ensure it is achieved”, said H.E Mr Sujiro Seam of EU.
Meanwhile, President for Disable People Association Solomon Islands (DPASI) Mr. Simon Dolaiano and DPASI Office Manager Casper Fa’asala both thanked EU for supporting the organisations and MHMS for its continuous support to DPASI.