17 Jun 2005

Japan agrees to boost aid funding to Solomon Islands

1:09 pm on 17 June 2005

A government spokesman in Solomon Islands says Japan has agreed to boost its aid funding to the country to more than 39 million US dollars a year.

Solomon Islands and Japan, which is the Solomons' top donor, have been holding the first ever bilateral talks in Honiara this week.

The director of the Government Communications Unit, Alfred Maesulia, says Japan agreed to fund several projects, boosting its aid input to a total of more than 39 million US dollars.

Mr Maesulia says key projects in line for the money include the Solomon Islands' Electricity Authority, which will get 13 million US dollars; tuna and fisheries rehabilitation; and Honiara airport developments.

"Those are the major projects which have been agreed on earlier but then it was discussed and raised again during this bilateral meeting and the [Japanese] delegation agreed to those projects. And there are also other ongoing projects like in the health sector and education."

Mr Maesulia says Japan's also restarted a technical assistance programme for the Solomons.