THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved support of almost USD$150 million (SBD1.2 billion) to boost land and maritime connectivity in Solomon Islands.
ADB is providing a grant of $74.5 million (SBD$595.7 million) sourced from the Asian Development Fund and a concessional loan of $74.4 million (SBD$594.9) for the Solomon Islands Land and Maritime Connectivity Project.
A statement from ADB says the national government is contributing the remaining USD$21.8 million (SBD$174.3 million) of the project’s overall cost of almost USD$171 million (SBD$1.4 billion).
The project will provide urgently needed repairs to one-third of the country’s road network and half of the country’s wharves.
“Considering 80% of the population lives in rural areas, this new investment project will have a measurable impact for hundreds of thousands of people in Solomon Islands,” said ADB Transport Specialist for the Pacific Tomoaki Kawabata.
The project will support the rehabilitation and upgrading of about 35 kilometers of roads in and around the capital, Honiara, the construction of two provincial wharves at Ahanga and Kira Kira, and improvements to the old wharf at Honiara International Port.
The project is set to increase access to markets, clinics, and schools, while supporting the disaster resilience of the transport network in Solomon Islands.
Climate proofing will be a key component of all the road and wharf upgrading under the project.
The capacity of the government’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development will be strengthened by the project, through improvements in the transport infrastructure maintenance practices in Solomon Islands.
It will assist the government in planning, project preparation, procurement, and other transport sector institutional reform.
The ADB-supported project will complement the improvement works on road sections of the east–west Guadalcanal corridor financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.