The media announcement by Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani on the USAID SCALE Project for Malaita is incorrect and misleading.
The National Government clarifies that the announcement downplays the spirit of partnership and commitment by SIG and the Malaita Provincial Government to implement these projects in partnership with the USAID and other development partners.
This was following a series of meetings held between the National Government, the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other stakeholders in Auki last month.
The series of meetings included a stakeholder dialogue on the SCALE programme jointly hosted by the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC) and USAID and followed by a courtesy call on the Executive members of the Malaita Provincial Government.
The stakeholder dialogue on the SCALE programme discussed progress in rolling out the SCALE Programme as well as governance and coordination arrangements to ensure effective and efficient delivery of the programme.
The Auki dialogue was informed that a Draft Implementing Agreement, which the Government is working on with the USAID, is being worked on and will be finalized for Cabinet Approval.
The dialogue was also informed of the Solomon Islands Aid Management and Development Cooperation Policy and the Partnership Framework for Effective Development Cooperation.
The Aid Management and Development Cooperation Policy provides guidance on how donors and development partners should engage with government in ensuring effective aid delivery in line with the Paris Principles of Aid Effectiveness and other relevant international and regional frameworks for effective development cooperation.
The dialogue also acknowledged clarifications made in the meeting, on the funding process, and alignment with Government policies, which will set the course and direction for further follow up meetings and engagements between National Government and Malaita Provincial Government.
The National Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) confirms that they have not received any formal information on the projects from USAID.
Furthermore, the National Government through the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC) confirms that they are still waiting for USAID to provide information on these projects so that both parties can agree on proper governance structures for SCALE projects.
The Government further clarifies that the Bonale Pineapple Project was initiated by the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) in 2017 and have signed an MOU with Bonale Lands Trust Board and Malaita Provincial Government during Premier Ramohia’s reign.
This project is ongoing one and is one of DCGA’s flagship projects and currently fully funded by the SIG Development Budget under its Value Adding program. The National Government also clarifies that talks are ongoing with the USAID under the SCALE programme to see where they can assist in the Bonale Pineapple project.
The other project is the Malu’u Fishery Center which is currently being implemented jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Fisheries with support from the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Fund (OFCF) of Japan to support rural fisheries and income generation activities in the Northern Region. The Government through these Ministries at this stage is unaware of any interest from the SCALE programme but would welcome any interest in the future.
The Malaita Outer Island wharf project is still in its early stages which will require feasibility studies before any actual construction can take place. The Government is welcoming development-partner support on this project.
The Government reminds Provincial Leaders to be mindful when announcing projects by making sure information provided is accurate and not misleading to people.