US$1.9 Million approved to support 1,700 jobs through two-year project expansion
WASHINGTON D.C., November 30, 2016 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$1.9 million to expand the Solomon Islands Rapid Employment Project, which will ensure two more years of training and job opportunities for young people in the Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara – including support for close to 1,700 short-term jobs.
The expansion will help job seekers and vulnerable urban groups in Honiara, particularly women and youth, increase their incomes through short-term employment and build knowledge, work experience and core skills valued by employers. It will also help improve their access to services through more reliable and climate-resilient roads and transport infrastructure. Two community urban works pilot activities will be initiated in Guadalcanal and another high-growth urban area outside Honiara, which has yet to be determined.
“The Rapid Employment Project is one of the World Bank’s flagship projects in the Solomon Islands. It has been delivering jobs and training opportunities for young people, and it is great to see this continuing in Honiara and beginning to expand to areas outside of the capital through new pilot programs,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.
The Rapid Employment Project commenced in 2010 and is implemented by the Honiara City Council and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, with support from the World Bank, the governments of Australia and New Zealand through the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility, and the State and Peace-Building Fund.
Since the project began, the delivered short-term employment for more than 12,000 young people from vulnerable communities; more than 664,000 labor days; more than US$ 2.8 million in wages; along with 34 infrastructure projects and more than 1,200 other community projects throughout Honiara and other areas built and supported by young Solomon Islanders.
Components under the additional financing include road repairs and maintenance, employing 152 workers; street cleaning and community works activities, including five new “Jacobs ladders,” or pedestrian staircases to reduce travel time through Honiara’s many valleys, and improvements at two schools.
The project expansion also includes two pilot activities outside of Honiara employing a total of 1,540 people, and a referral system for pre-employment training graduates to undertake further training and increase their access to employment opportunities and social services. It will also help to strengthen the capacity of Honiara City Council and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to supervise and deliver project activities.
This round of additional financing is provided through a US$1.9 million grant from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.
For more information, please visit: worldbank.org/pacificislands