Australia Commits $94.1 Million For Solomons Health Sector

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Four-year funding plan applauded by PM Darcy Lilo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 23, 2012) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has welcomed an AU$90 million [US$94.1 million] funding into the health sector from Australia.

Prime Minister Julie Gillard made the announcement during her meeting with Lilo on Wednesday in Canberra.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted she hosted to honor Prime Minister Lilo’s visit, Gillard said: "I was so pleased that the Prime Minister and I were able to announce a new Solomon Islands Health Sector Support program earlier today (Wednesday)."

She said that the program will be backed by a AUD$90 million (SB$634.9 million) commitment over four years.

In thanking Australia, Mr. Lilo said he was very pleased with Australia’s support to the sector and the Government would ensure that the program is given the appropriate support so that it can be implemented.

Gillard said: "Our program means skilled birth attendants will be present at more child births – and we’ll immunize more Solomon Island children against diseases like polio, measles, and rubella. We’ll provide essential medicines and supplies to the rural people.

"We’ll give many more health facilities the capacity to diagnose malaria, distribute more long lasting insecticide-treated nets and spray more homes," she said.

Gillard said by July next year, Australia will extend clean water and sanitation to 15,000 rural Solomon Islanders who currently go without and they’ll support the management of the health system as a whole.

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