By Timothy Inifiri Jr.
The European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF together with the National Government of Solomon Islands today (Wednesday 14 September) launched the new EU-Funded Provincial Governance and Service Delivery Project (PGSDP) through the European Development Fund (EDF) at the Heritage Park Hotel.
The PGSDP with a total budget of around 8 Million EUR (SBD 78 million) will be implemented in Solomon Islands between 2022 and 2050 with the aim of strengthening the governance systems of service delivery within all nine provinces, UNDP and UNICEF will also work closely with the Government to improve the coordination between the Provincial Government (PGs) and the provincial sector offices for education and health.
Speaking during the launching, Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination Hon Rexon Ramofafia said that the focus of the project really targets the natural needs and situation of Solomon Islanders living in the provinces and rural areas.
“It [PGSDP] will also contribute towards strengthening the capacity of the provincial governments to deliver essential services,” he said.
“Today, marks an important milestone as we launch this important project. The project launch long-term objective is to build sound- inclusive, transparent and accountable government system within the province or some national service deliveries”, said Ramofafia.
The Minister also stated that health and education remains critical to the empowerment of our people having a healthy and literate population as it supports all aspects of development.
Also joining the launching virtually from Fiji are Ambassador and head of the Delegation for the European Union for the Pacific, H.E Sujiro Seam and UNDP Resident Representative Mr Levan Bouadze who arrived in Honiara later that day.
” Of course this project is consistent with the global priorities of the EU, as reflected in our global gateways when we intend to strengthen networks in particular on health and education”, Seam virtually said from Nadi Airport before coming to Honiara.
Ambassador Seam also said that the SBD 78 million project also provides a very powerful tool of capacity strengthening in terms of Government coordination.