20 Jul 2006

OXFAM calls for better links between RAMSI and Solomons' commmunities

12:54 pm on 20 July 2006

The NGO Oxfam says that the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands needs to build better links with the community to ensure it is involved in the development of the country.

ln a report, launched today in Honiara, called Bridging the Gap, Oxfam says if the people are excluded it will stall attempts to rebuild a prosperous, peaceful, well governed society.

It praises RAMSI's efforts in restoring law and order but calls for broader concepts of security including the provision of essential services and improved livelihoods.

Oxfam's researcher Nic Maclellan says people throughout the country appear not to understand what RAMSI is trying to achieve.

"The high profile it has got publicity for is the question of law and order, de-militarisation, removing guns from the community, which has widespread popular support. but many people in rural areas told us they weren't sure what else RAMSI was doing, even though RAMSI is now engaged in a whole range of political and economic reform processes with the Solomon Islands Government."