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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou has warmly welcomed the increased funding by the New Zealand Government under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme.
The New Zealand high commissioner to Solomon Islands Don Higgins last week presented a letter from the acting New Zealand prime minister Winston Peters, to prime minister Hou, on the details of the new funding arrangement.
“It is welcoming news and I sincerely thank the New Zealand government for this huge commitment,” he said.
The prime minister said New Zealand is an important partner to Solomon Islands.
“This renewed arrangement is a reflection of the commitment the New Zealand government has in enhancing the partnership and cooperation between our two countries,” the prime minister said.
New Zealand’s acting prime minister in his letter has announced the approval of an indicative funding envelope of NZ $104.07 million (SBD$528m) for ODA to Solomon Islands over the coming triennium (2018-2021).
On top of that, there is also an additional funding of $10.41 million (US$1.3 million) for renewable energy and other NGO activities.
“We believe that if we work together, Solomon Islands can realize its vision for improved social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders by 2035,” Acting Prime Minister Peters said in his letter.
Meanwhile, Hou has reiterated his Government’s gratitude to New Zealand’s ongoing support in the aviation sector.
He said the SIDCCG is keen on opening the Munda international airport.
“There are bits and pieces that the Government needs to do but we are optimistic that everything will go according to plan for the September opening,” the prime minister said.
High commissioner Higgins has also acknowledged that they are also facing minor hiccups but everything is on course for the opening.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
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