By Alfred Sasako
NEARLY half the funding in this year’s Development Budget has gone to the Ministry of Rural Development regarded by many as the conduit for political funding in rural areas, Budget papers have shown.
The papers show that of the $700,979,332 in the Development Budget, $320 million has gone to the Ministry.
At $150 million, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury receives the next highest while the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, another Ministry regarded as a conduit for alleged misuse of public funds takes third placing at $78 million from the Development Budget which this year saw a 52 percent decline in donor funding compared to last year’s funding support.
Below are the details of donor support to this year’s Budget.
- Asian Development Bank – USD$2.5m as General Budget support for Solomon Islands Government in 2018 under the Core Economic Working Group (CEWG) programme.
- World Bank – General Budget support of USD$2.5m to assist Solomon Islands Government.
- Australian Budget Support – A sum of $76.6 million for health services, and $53 million as support to Education and $5.8 million to Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services.
- New Zealand Bilateral Budget Support – $23 million as support to Education and $8.4 million to support the Ministry of Fisheries through the “Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries” (MSSIF) Programme.
- European Union – $24.0 million as support to Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
- Global Fund – $10 million in support to operations in the Ministry of Health.
- Joint United Nations – $1.6 million in support to operations in the Ministry of Health.
- UNICEF – $3.2 million in support to operations in the Ministry of Health.
- World Health Organisation is providing $2.2 million.
- United National Population Fund- $2.6 million
- Family Planning Australia – $0.1 million to Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
- Fred Hollows (Australia) – provides $0.2 million to support Eye related programmes at the Ministry of Health
Healthy Lifestyle Promotion Fund – $3.5 million to Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
KOICA – $1.5 million budget support to Guadalcanal Province Health Service Grant
UNOPS is supporting Trade development in Foreign Affairs with $2.3 million.
Republic of China – $70 m for rural constituency development, through the Ministry of Rural Development and $6 million to Ministry of Health.