SI can bounce back: Kuma

Finance Minister, Hon Harry Kuma during a recent visit to Solomon Islands Tobacco Company
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MINISTER of Finance and Treasury says the country can bounce back from current economic pressures.

Harry Kuma said Solomon Islands not only has natural resources, but also human resources capable to support its economic recovery initiatives in 2022.

He said the government believes that by putting adequate resources to key pillars of the economy, Solomon Islanders will see and benefit from more tangible outcomes in the future.

Kuma said adapting and building a strong economic foundation will certainly strengthen the ability of the government to withstand adversity.

“Government is also aware that as a developing country, we also have a very young population with increasing demand for quality social services, and more infrastructure development to boost growth in order to provide more employment opportunities.

“Solomon Islands cannot realised its development and growth potentials if the majority of our people who live in rural villages with poor access to social services, communication technologies, infrastructure, and other much needed services are left out,” he said.

Kuma said the government aims to improve sustainable livelihoods by implementing comprehensive development programmes for rural areas where the majority of our people live.

He said the Government had decided to allocate a total of $341.0 million to support rural development and growth initiatives through the constituency development programme in 2022.

“This amount also includes a $20 million Budget support allocation from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

“In this regard, I call on all constituency office staff to be accommodative and inclusive in funding their various rural community projects,” Kuma said.

He said the Budget allocation under this sector is meant to benefit everyone in each respective constituency, and not just a few.

“If we address rural development well, it can also contribute to reduce poverty in urban areas by reducing excessive population influxes from rural areas into Honiara and other urban centres,” Kuma said.