A discussion on the implementation progress of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Program was held recently in Honiara between the Solomon Islands Government and a MCC Delegation.
The Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination, Honorable Rexon Ramofafia and Permanent Secretary Susan Sulu met a delegation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on 5 July 2022.
In January 2022, the Solomon Islands Government and MCC signed the US$20 million Threshold Program Grant Agreement with the aim of alleviating poverty and encouraging sustainable development in Solomon Islands. The MCC delegation comprised of Solomon Country Team Lead Nilan Fernando and Policy Officer Emily Schultz arrived as soon as the border reopened on 1 July to update Minister Ramofafia, PS Sulu, and other government officials.
The Threshold Program will feature two projects: The Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP) and the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) Project. The sustainable forestry and tourism sectors were identified as potential sectors for economic growth in Solomon Islands. The ALTIF project aims to facilitate investment in the tourism sector and ensure that communities benefit from such investments. FoVEP will provide communities with economically viable alternatives to unsustainable logging practices and generate more reliable, eco-friendly benefits from the country’s natural forests.
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and closing of the border did not deter progress of the MCC program. During that time, MCC undertook program development and negotiations with the Solomon Islands Government and implementation partners that have local expertise. Implementation agreements have been signed a
MCC Country Team Leader Nilan Fernando said he was delighted to be able to meet Minister Rex Ramofafia and PS Sulu after working remotely and assured the government that progress on the Threshold Program will accelerate.
He also conveyed the invitation from MCC for Minister Ramofafia to visit Washington DC in August of this year. Understanding was also reached on the status of implementation and next steps.
Hon Ramofafia reiterated the SIG’s support for the MCC Threshold Program saying his Ministry is a partner in the program and will ensure that it fulfils its obligations for the successful implementation of the Threshold Program in Solomon Islands.
The Minister looks forward to a successful working relationship with MCC and supporting the objectives of the Threshold Program.
MCC is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign assistance agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Since its creation by the U.S. Congress in 2004, MCC has changed the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results. MCC provides time-limited grants promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, and strengthening institutions.