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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sogavare calls on opposition group to rid-off "donor dependency" mentality

By Deli Oso/PM Press Secretary

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the National Parliamentary Opposition Group to get out of their ‘donor dependency’ mentality and help towards the country’s financing of its own budget.

Mr Sogavare made the call in Parliament this morning when moving the motion of Sine Die to end the current session of parliament. He said the Opposition was reeling in the thought that without donor-support the bottom up approach to development policy of the government would remain a wistful thinking.

The Prime Minister said the group was working day and night to instill doubt in the minds of MPs including those in the government bench that the budget for this year would fail.

He warned the Opposition that if Solomon Islands did not start taking up the predominant role in financing its own budget, it would never stop depending on aid.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the 2007 national budget was designed to address development issues that threaten Solomon Islands peace and security. He said the Opposition Group’s argument that the success of the budget would depend on the normalization of Solomon Islands relations with Australia was totally ‘absurd.’

“It is a very narrow-minded view. It is made without the slightest appreciation of the issues that caused the stand-off.”

Mr Sogavare also emphasized the need for proper coordination of donors’ development assistances to ensure they were properly utilized to achieve national development goals.

He said the government hoped that by July this year it should be able to finalise the national framework within which the various funding agencies should participate more transparently.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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