NEW ZEALAND COMMITTED TO SOLOMONS ASSISTANCE

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NZAID provides $23 million a year to Solomons

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Nov. 6, 2008) – The Solomon Islands government held high-level discussions yesterday with the New Zealand Government aid agency, NZAID.

The discussions were based on future NZAID assistance to Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands is New Zealand's largest bilateral aid partner, receiving over SB$160 million [US$22 .9 million] a year.

At the signing of the talks' outcome in Honiara last night, NZAID's Executive Director Peter Adams said New Zealand is a committed partner of Solomon Islands.

Yesterday's discussions centred around NZAID's new 10-year programme strategy with the Solomon Islands government.

The strategy focuses on two main areas that are important for the lives of the people of Solomon Islands. These are education and training, and improvement to the livelihood of Solomon Islanders.

Dr Adams said the agency will help Solomon Islands government to deliver quality, basic education for Solomon Islanders.

He said the agency also aims to work with the government to improve transport links and promote economic development.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning and Development Steve Abana who chaired yesterday's discussions said his government appreciates NZAID's positive response to the bilateral discussions.

Minister Abana said the agency's draft programme strategy is consistent with the government's priorities in education, transport infrastructure and fisheries as articulated in its Medium-Term Development Strategy.

The minister said Solomon Islands also values New Zealand's support through the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

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