Solomon Islands: Cash handouts from donors comes in for criticism
Solomon Islands Governor General, His Excellency, the Reverend David Vunagi, called for an end to what he describes as the 'handout mentality' in the country when he made his maiden speech on Monday marking the opening of the second meeting of the eleventh parliament.
His Excellency reportedly said, “We must be vigilant as custodians of our natural resources and be good role models to our youth. We should not be reliant on aid donors and politicians to provide cash handouts. This handout mentality must stop. It is slowly killing us.”
The Governor-General reads a prepared speech to members of the nation’s legislature when a session is opened, outlining the government’s agenda and focus for the forthcoming session,
Given that His Excellency was outlining SIG policy was there a hint to be perceived about the cash handouts received from a donor by way of the Constitutional Development Funds (CDF) regularly received but so often criticised for failing to deliver the development assistance needed for tangible constituency development?
I have frequently written about direct aid assistance by Japan and Australia and see direct aid as the kind of donor assistance most needed.
I read today in the Solomon’s media of two such “tangible” assistance packages, and refer to the Naha Birth and Urban Health Centre being built with direct aid from Australia and, secondly, the brand new two-storey building with six classrooms at the Turarana Community High School at Vuloloward in Central Guadalcanal, made possible by the Government of Japan at a cost of $562,724.