The World Bank is committed to bolster efforts to strengthen financial management, address debt issues and empower the Solomon Islands Internal Commission Against Corruption by providing a supplemental US$15 million to existing support for these reforms.
At the end of November 2021, protests and rioting in Honiara caused widespread destruction with economic damage amounting to around US$86 million or roughly 7 percent of the nation’s GDP.
These impacts were compounded by a reduction in tax collections from impacted businesses, decreased economic activity from lockdowns and higher import prices for goods due to the conflict in Ukraine.
The World Bank has committed the extra funding to ensure the Solomon Islands government is able to continue providing necessary services and operations while continuing to work towards improved public financial management, anti-corruption efforts and environmental sustainability.
“We’re pleased to be standing with Solomon Islanders in meeting the unprecedented economic shocks the country has faced in the past two years, and to assist in keeping the government’s ambitious reform program on track,” said Annette Leith, the World Bank Group Resident Representative in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, in a press release on Sunday.
“This new support will help Solomon Islands continue to focus on strengthening financial management, improving the business environment, and responding to the significant threats of climate change,” Leith added.
The existing government reform program aims to increase the transparency of procurement processes, keep debt at manageable levels, and support more efficient tax processes.
The reform program will also assist the Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption to strengthen its reporting processes and boost women’s representation in anti-corruption efforts.
Finally, reforms supported through this World Bank support will also focus on improvements to climate adaptation planning, by increasing the number of communities that are assessed for climate vulnerability and adaptation, decreasing the use of single use plastics and reducing imports of plastic bags.
The new assistance comes as the World Bank and president of the World Bank Group announce a historic increase in its support to the Solomon Islands, with over US$130 million over four projects expected to be approved throughout the month of June.
The three other projects include support for fisheries management, aviation and roads, and infrastructure in rural areas.
Read about how the Solomon Islands and other tax havens are used to money laundering and white-collar crime in our Exposed Foundation story about Husnu Ozyegin.