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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank to Support Solomon Islands in Improving Service Delivery with Development Policy Grant

August 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2013 - Today the World Bank Group Board of Directors approved a US$2 million grant to support a Development Policy Operation for Solomon Islands, which will help the Solomon Islands Government strengthen its use of public funds, improve the financial position of key state-owned enterprises, and support a framework for extractive industry revenue transparency.

Stimulating economic growth and improving livelihoods is a key concern of the Solomon Islands government. The World Bank is happy to support the government as they work to improve service delivery, and protect the country from external economic shocks”, said Anne Tully, World Bank Country Representative for Solomon Islands.

This is the second in a series of two Development Policy Grants that the World Bank has developed in coordination with the government-led Core Economic Working Group. The first Development Policy Operation was successfully disbursed in 2012.

The second Policy Operation will continue to support government-led reforms that will help to improve the budget process, make the process more consultative and encourage civil society involvement. It also supports the important gains in the financial health that the Solomon Islands Water Authority, SIWA, and Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, SIEA, achieved over the past year.

In addition, the funding will facilitate Government efforts to provide clearer information to communities about mining revenues, through complying with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). EITI is a global initiative that aims to strengthen governance in the extractives sector, a growing industry in Solomon Islands.

“Budget support grants such as these from the World Bank can provide welcome assistance to governments, and can be spent through their own systems. They also provide solid support for policy initiatives that can help bring improved living standards for all Solomon Islanders,” said Tim Bulman, World Bank Country Economist for Solomon Islands.

The proposed funding is fully aligned with the outcomes of the recently approved World Bank Country Partnership Strategy, (CPS FY13 – FY16), which aims to support macroeconomic and fiscal stability, enhance public sector capacity and community benefits in the mining sector, as well as improve policy and budgetary processes to support poverty reduction and service delivery.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/063/EAP