Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, July 6, 2022

World

World Bank to spend $130 million on infrastructure in Solomon Islands

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank plans to step up assistance to the Solomon Islands with $130 million in new funding for projects and assistance expected to be allocated to the country this month.

The funding includes $89 million to upgrade airport infrastructure, including in the capital Honiara, and make improvements to four bridges, the bank said in a statement released on Thursday.

A further three projects worth roughly $41 million are still to be finalised but are expected to be announced later in the month.

“Providing reliable, climate resilient transport connections is a major challenge in Solomon Islands,” Annette Leith, World Bank Resident Representative for Solomon Islands & Vanuatu, said in the statement.

“This new project will address critical issues in air transport infrastructure,” she said.

The United States and its allies have raised concerns about the growing influence of China in the Solomon Islands after the two countries signed a security pact.

The pact is a major inroad for China in the resource-rich Pacific and comes after it funded the building of a number of significant infrastructure projects.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; editing by Richard Pullin)

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