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Solomon Islands

Massive World Bank funding for Solomons

The Solomon Islands will be receiving US$130 million in World Bank funding for its roads and aviation projects, making it the biggest funding to be given to the island nation by the bank.

The funding will be for four new projects.

US$89 million goes towards the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2) that will make the country’s aviation sector safer, more efficient and more climate resilient. It will enable substantial improvements to airports, as well as delivering important upgrades to selected roads and bridges across the country.

World Bank Resident Representative for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Annette Leith said providing reliable, climate resilient transport connections is a major challenge in Solomon Islands and a key obstacle in addressing uneven development and opportunities for communities across the country.

“This new project will address critical issues in air transport infrastructure to improve service delivery for communities in need, as well as improving important international links to support Solomon Islands’ tourism sector,” she said.

The Solomon Islands will be receiving US$130 million in World Bank funding for its roads and aviation projects, making it the biggest funding to be given to the island nation by the bank. Picture: Kawee Twitter

With Solomon Islands’ transport infrastructure increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, SIRAP2 will strengthen the climate resilience and safety of air travel as a priority.

The new project will deliver upgrades to airport infrastructure at Honiara and Munda Airports and Santa Cruz (Lata) Airfield, invest in air navigation systems in Makira-Ulawa and Temotu Provinces, and finance regional airport maintenance.

The new project will also focus on improvements to four bridges (Kolofe1, Kolofe2, Su’u Harbor, and Bira Bridges) in Malaita, and roads in Noro, Western Province.

The Solomon Islands will be receiving US$130 million in World Bank funding for its roads and aviation projects, making it the biggest funding to be given to the island nation by the bank. Picture: UK in Solomons Twitter

This will improve climate resilient connections between towns and communities through works including road raising and drainage improvements to adapt to forecasted increases in rainfall.

Supervising Minister of Finance and Treasury Rex Ramofafia said they were pleased that SIRAP2 will continue the strong progress delivered under the ongoing Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project.

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“Strengthening climate resilience alongside the upgrades the major road and aviation infrastructures will improve disaster risk management across the transport network, which is priority of the government under the National Development Strategy and National Transport Plan,” he said.

The Solomon Islands will be receiving US$130 million in World Bank funding for its roads and aviation projects, making it the biggest funding to be given to the island nation by the bank. Picture: Joint Operations Command Twitter

Three further projects are expected to be announced in June which include an ocean and fisheries management project, budget support, and work to increase access to economic and social infrastructure in rural areas.

These four new projects add to a World Bank program in Solomon Islands that has been steadily expanding over the past six months.

The World Bank’s existing support to Solomon Islands includes the Community Access and Urban Service Enhancement (CAUSE) project, large scale infrastructure such as the Tina River Hydropower project, analysis and advisory support for government, as well as funding for COVID-19 response.

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