Solomon Islands’ Efforts to Combat Rural Poverty Get US$9 Million Boost from World Bank

November 21, 2014

More than 350,000 People Expected to Benefit

HONIARA, November 21, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$9 million to support the second phase of the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP II), one of the Government’s main instruments to address rural poverty.

RDP II aims to alleviate rural poverty and provide social and economic opportunities in rural areas through activities that will expand community infrastructure and services, and strengthen the linkages of smallholder-farming households to markets.

The first phase of the Rural Development Program has shown that rural communities across the country can and will work together to manage their own development,” said Anne Tully, World Bank Country Representative for Solomon Islands. “This second phase of the Rural Development Program will leverage the resources of the private sector to bring services to farmers, strengthen agriculture value chains, and increase rural incomes.”

Specifically, the program will build on and refine the community-driven development grants and services developed during the first phase of the Rural Development Program; assist farming households to engage in productive partnerships with commercial enterprises; build the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to deliver its core functions of regulation, research and sector coordination; and deliver funds to ensure the effective overall management of the finance, procurement, evaluation and environmental safeguards components of the program.

RDP II is expected to provide benefits to approximately 65,000 households – approximately 357,500 people, or 65 percent of the national population of 550,000 people. The majority of these households (about 48,000) will benefit from improved community-driven rural services including water supply, health and education facilities, transport, and energy. Approximately 17,000 smallholder farming households, agribusiness owners and other contributors to agriculture value-chains will also benefit from investments to improve agricultural productivity, marketing, and ultimately, incomes.

The grant of US$9 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) includes   US$4 million from the Crisis Response Window (CRW) – the World Bank’s special fund for use following exceptionally severe natural disasters and regional economic shocks. CRW funding will be used to repair or rebuild small-scale infrastructure, agriculture and livestock assets damaged or lost in the April 2014 floods.

The project will be implemented through the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

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