5 Mar 2007

RAMSI consults new provincial governments

4:59 pm on 5 March 2007

RAMSI is having consultation this week with the new premiers of Malaita and Guadalcanal province in Solomon Islands to talk about their needs and concerns.

This is in line with the government's new policy of rural development, as eighty-five percent of the population lives in rural areas.

Guadalcanal premier, Joash Salani, says health, education and infrastructure are the province's top priorities.

"Our concern would be in the area of education, health, and infrastructure. A lot of our areas need better roads, bridges. We need to improve in the economic activities that would improve the quality of our people's lives down in the rural area."

Joash Salani says RAMSI could give support in these areas.

But the deputy special coordinator, Paul Ash, says its mandate is to work on law and justice, governance and economic growth.

Mr Ash says Australian and New Zealand aid agencies as well as the European Union are assisting the health and education sectors.