In a ceremony today, Solomon Islands took ownership of a Fiscal Relief package worth about NZD 6 million/ SBD34m from the New Zealand Government. The funding support was given in acknowledgement that while Solomon Islands communities remain protected against the serious health impacts of an outbreak, the ongoing effects of COVID-19 have caused significant socio-economic hardship and impacts to livelihoods.
“The saying goes: nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi – with your foodbasket, with my foodbasket, the people will prosper. We are pleased to provide further support to our whanaunga in Solomon Islands, to support continued development and prosperity during this ongoing time of challenge”, said New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts. “Right now, we are observing Matariki in Aotearoa – a time for reflection and a time to extend manaakitanga (generosity) to whanau/family and communities. In this spirit, and in recognition of the serious fiscal challenges faced at present, we have offered this relief package as budget support for the Government to allocate according to its prioritisation of critical needs.”
Welcoming the contribution, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeremiah Manele thanked the New Zealand Government for its ongoing support to the ongoing COVID19 recovery efforts of Solomon Islands.
“We know, New Zealand also continues to battle the terrible effects of COVID19. In spite of this, New Zealand’s generosity has lent its hand once again to assist Solomon Islands in our COVID-19 rebuilding and recovery efforts.
“Today, I am honoured to receive and accept on behalf of Solomon Islands this Fiscal Contribution Relief amounting to SBD $34.3 million from the Government of New Zealand. The funds will be targeted at the alleviation of socio-economic negative impacts caused by the global pandemic. It will further enhance, strengthen and complement the recovery work that has already been undertaken for important sectors outside of the health sector.”
“Rest assured that Solomon Islands stands together with New Zealand and for our part, remains committed to the strong bilateral relations that our two countries share. Please convey our deepest appreciation and gratitude to the people and Government of New Zealand for its unwavering commitment and assistance towards Solomon Islands”.
Also present at the ceremony to witness the handover were representatives from line Ministries and State Owned Enterprises responsible for implementing the relief contribution funding. The package of support has been earmarked by Solomon Islands Government for youth empowerment and employment – including in the provinces; border security/maritime safety; governance and inclusion; basic service delivery; and provincial connectivity.
Joint Media release from GCU and NZHC