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Sunday, September 10, 2006

ROC injects SI$10million into rural Micro-project fund

Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Solomon Islands H.E. Antonio Chen on Friday (08/09/06) released SDB$10 million for the Micro Project but very cautious about its use to benefit those in the rural areas.

His Excellency Chen released the fund while meeting with the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, on friday.

Ambassador Chen said: “It is my pleasure to release the 2006 ROC/SIG Micro Project Fund with a total amount of SBD$10 Million at this stage, just a couple of months after the new Government has been in place so that Members of Parliament are now given enough time to implement their projects.

“I would like to see the fund properly administered by the relevant authorities to ensure assistance goes down to the core of the rural areas.

Mr. Sogavare, in return, thanked Ambassador Chen and Taiwan Government for the assistance.

“The fund will go a long way to help alleviate poverty in the rural areas and greatly enhance living standard in communities,” the Prime Minister said.

The ROC/SIG Grassroots Micro Project for Development Scheme was introduced last year, with a total amount of SBD$10 million which was equally distributed to 50 constituencies. The idea is to encourage people in the rural areas to participate in economic activities to look after their own welfare, and to improve social services in the communities.

“As we know, there is more than 85% of population in the country living in the rural areas, and many of them have no access to social services such as schools, clinics, and even clean and safe drinking water.

“That is why I decided to set aside a proportion of our assistance to assist the rural development. A wide range of activities, such as agriculture, commerce & industries, social services, education, etc… are eligible for funding under this scheme,” said Ambassador Chen.

The ROC/SIG Grassroots Micro Project for Development Scheme was administered by the Department of National Planning & Aid Coordination last year.

Ambassador Chen continued: “This project was administered with very strict guidelines, and had an impartial committee to screen projects submitted."

“Each sponsored project and amount of money were published in the Solomon Star after each disbursement, therefore 100% transparency and accountability had been achieved."

The Ambassador said positive responses from donors and local people had been expressed.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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