PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela yesterday witnessed the signing of a grant agreement between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Solomon Islands Government.
The agreement establishing the Transport Sector Project Development Facility was signed by the Finance & Treasury Permanent Secretary Harry Kuma and ADBs Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office Regional Director Ms Emma Fan.
The signing was witnessed by the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and the high-level ADB Board of Directors that are currently visiting the country.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Hou said the signing ceremony is yet another positive demonstration of the strong working relationship between the Solomon Islands Government and the ADB.
He said in September 2018, the ADB Board of Directors have approved US$6Million grant to finance detailed design for priority transport sector projects in Solomon Islands.
The Prime Minister said the PDF is a response to project delays and problems.
“It is expected to significantly improve project quality and reduce implementation delays. The facility will fund the designs and preparations of multiple priority projects in the road, maritime and aviation sectors within the government’s transport action plan,” he said.
Mr Hou said it will also support capacity building to implementing agencies.
“On behalf of the Government, I sincerely thank the ADB Board for approving this facility,” he said.
Permanent Secretary to Finance Mr Kuma said the Ministry of Infrastructure & Development, Solomon Islands Ports Authority and the Ministry of Communication & Aviation will all benefit from the facility.
“This will help deliver projects faster and improve connectivity in the country,” Mr Kuma said.
Regional Director Ms Fan said ADB’s activities in the transport sector in Solomon Islands are delivering safe, efficient and reliable intermodal links to connect people with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
“The new facility will help us better support the long-term sustainability of our investment in transport in Solomon Islands,” Fan said.