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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SI Minister for Aid Coordination signs Rural Development Grant

By Chris Leua

A $3 million grant signed by the government last week will provide the government with funds that will start the preparation and implementation of the Rural Development Programme(RDP).

Hon Gordon Darcy Lilo, Minister for National Planning and Aid Coordination signed the Japan Policy and Human Development (PHRD) grant on September 4, enabling the mobilization of resources to design the proposed RDP that will be managed by the Solomon Islands Government.

Totaling US$405,000, the grant will provide the government with funds to establish an office dedicated to the development of the RDP.

During the occasion of the signing, Minister Darcy Lilo noted that the Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy (ARDS) and the RDP are both, “consistent with the Government focus on encouraging rural community participation in development.”

The Minister also noted that the ARDS and RDP “will pave the way for increased support for the development of rural communities and the economy of the Solomon Islands.”

The RDP aims to increase the participation of rural people in sustainable economic development through the enhanced provision of services and infrastructure, thus improving the level and security of rural and local livelihoods.

The RDP represents one of the sectoral strategies of the Grand Coalition for Change Government Rural Development Framework, and is underpinned by a bottom-up approach to improving rural and local livelihoods.

Hon Lilo said the signing of the grant reflects the serious commitment by the Solomon Islands government to work in partnership with development partners. The World Bank, AusAID and European Union are donor partners in the case of the ARDS.

Source:Government Communications Unit

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