RISE OF $700M AND MORE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE – Solomon Star News

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World Bank injects SBD$729,435 to improve infrastructure here under SIRAP

The World Bank has injected $89.21 million (SBD729,435) into the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2), the inception workshop was held at the Heritage Park Hotel on Wednesday.

With the $89.21 million, $7.69 million (76%) is in credit and $21.52 million (24%) is in donation, which equals SBD 729.435.

SIRAP 2 (which was launched yesterday) builds on the success of SIRAP 1 which began in 2019 and is now in its fourth year of implementation.

The Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Harry Kuma, said the workshop held yesterday marks the official launch of the latest World Bank assistance to Solomon Islands’ SIRAP2.

“This aid worth $89.21 million ($67.69 million credit and $21.52 million grant) is equivalent to SBD 729.435,” he said.

Mr. Kuma said that SIRAP2 will build on the achievements and lessons learned from the original SIRAP project and will make a significant additional contribution to the road and air sectors.

SIRAP2 will build climate resilience and safety in the road and aviation sectors through stronger assets, improve safety and maintenance practices, and build capacity for asset management and project implementation.

There are three main components of SIRAP2.

First, SIRAP2 will continue the broader improvement of aviation infrastructure at Honiara International Airport, including runway pavement surfacing, extending runaway life.

New rescue fire station, air navigation aids and aerodrome beaconing, air traffic control tower and other buildings and infrastructure supporting the operation of the aerodrome.

Mr. Kuma said that this work completes the significant improvement made with the help of JICA.

SIRAP2 will also provide additional investment at Munda International Airport with the construction of an air traffic control tower and parking for the new terminal (currently under construction).

SIRAP2 will improve the climate resilience and safety of the Santa Cruz (Lata) airfield through the upgrading of the runaway alongside the improvement of drainage and the construction of new seawalls.

Second, SIRAP2 will continue to improve the climate resilience and safety of road infrastructure with the sealing and resealing of 9.9 km of roads in Noro, and the replacement of four bridges in Malaita, two bridges in Kolofe and Su’u and Bina harbor bridges.

“These improvements align with other road improvement projects on the national and provincial highway systems,” he said.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development will benefit from support for the management of climate-resilient road assets, road safety and project implementation.

The Ministry of Communications and Aviation will benefit from the national airport development plan and targeted training in airport planning and management.

“As with SIRAP, SIRAP2 includes a facility to provide emergency response in the event of a devastating natural calamity.

“Upon request to the World Bank, project funds may be reallocated to provide an immediate response to a significant calamity that may befall the Solomon Islands when additional necessary funds are requested,” he said.

Mr. Kuma added that SIRAP2 reflects the commitment of the World Bank and the Government of the Solomon Islands to the continued development of our nation and people.

He said that a large part of our population will benefit from an improved and uninterrupted air connection, which will also benefit other sectors such as tourism, fishing, agriculture, health and trade in general.

“Our population and our economy will also benefit from better access to markets, jobs, education and medical services. Encourage all actors involved in the realization of the SIRAP2 project to do their best and encourage all stakeholders and government agencies to actively engage in this exciting work for the benefit of all Solomon Islands,” he said.

The World Bank Resident Representative, Mrs. Annette Leith, said it was with great pleasure for her to join the launch of SIRAP2.

“On behalf of the World Bank, I would like to congratulate the people and government of the Solomon Islands on this important milestone.

“I am grateful that the SIRAP2 investment, which has a large focus on aviation, will improve regional and international connectivity and contribution flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am also happy to note that the investments will allow better access to markets and essential basic services, and thus improve the living conditions of the people of the Solomon Islands,” she said.

SIRAP2 will build on the achievements and lessons learned from the ongoing Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (known as SIRAP).

At the same time, Mr. Kuma extended his special thanks to the donor partners of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the International Finance Corporation, the Japan international cooperation, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the United States. States Agency for International Development.

“Solomon Islands would not be here today without your continued support and assistance,” he said.

By LACHLAN EDDIE
Solomon Star, Honiara

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