, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Breaking for Pacific watchers. These are the main announcements soon to be made by @ScottMorrisonMP in Honiara. First- the Aust Govt will fund a new bilateral infrastructure programme for Solomon Islands. It will be worth up to $250 million in grant financing over ten years. 1/
BUT it's worth noting that this money will be from the aid budget - ie redirected from existing/planned programs. In other words Australia continues to embrace infrastructure funding at the expense of (some) traditional health/education/governance programs 2/
Australia will also help design and build a new office building for the Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade 3/
Australia will also "provide $2.7 million over three years to deliver additional support for recruitment and mobilisation of Solomon Islands workers to Australia" (ie loans for those who can't afford the passport / health check fees) - I predict this will be popular 4/
Back on the new infrastructure programme - the main rationale seems to be that it will help fund smaller projects which the SI government might not want to build by borrowing $$$ from the Infrastructure Facility 5/
Australia seems intent on reshaping its aid program to meet the preferences of some political leaders in the Pacific. But we should also keep this in perspective - $125 million over ten years represents roughly 15-20% of Australia's aid budget in Solomon Islands over that period
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