By EDDIE OSIFELO
Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination, Rex Ramofafia has defended the $1.47 billion injected by donors in the $4 billion budget.
Delivering his speech on the budget on Monday, Ramofafia said this demonstrates a strong donor support for our national priorities.
He said whilst some may argue that this points to a development agenda that is heavily donor financed, it must be understood that donor projects are guided by government priorities and only implemented after they have been scrutinised, modified and approved by government.
Furthermore, Ramofafia said as an Least Developed Country and a Small Island Developing State, “we face structural challenges that hinder our ability to effectively grow the economy and increase our financing base. We will continue to need donor support to boost financing for development.”
“In this connection Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for development coordination, I convey the sincere appreciation of the government and people of Solomon Islands to our development partners for your ongoing support.
“Progress that we have witnessed has been enabled by your help and ongoing support,” MP for Fataleka said.
Moreover, Ramofafia said the government acknowledges and recognises that enhancements in economic and infrastructure development, education, health, good governance, security, and gender and environmental protection will continue to depend on ongoing donor support.
He said the government values donor support in these areas and encourages donors to continue to rally support towards government priorities.
“In allocating government funding, we have also considered where donor funds are flowing, and have used domestic resources to complement such support where necessary,” he said.
The Ministry has successfully convened the first Solomon Islands Government and Development Partners Joint Dialogue for 2021 recently.
The Joint meeting provided a forum for government to dialogue with development partners on the redirection policy and provide guidance on those key areas of importance that development partners should direct and align support to.
Ramoafafia said the Ministry of National Planning and Development coordination will continue to ensure that donor support and development assistance aligns to national priorities, is owned, driven and led by national government, delivered in a coordinated and harmonised manner that uses country systems and institutions and is transparent and ensures accountability.