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Australia gives further $2 million to help Solomon Islands rebuild after floods

Friday June 13, 2014 - 12:48 EST
Audience submitted image
Aid from Australia arrives in the Solomon Islands on April 7, 2014, in the wake of flash flooding resulting from days of torrential rain. - Audience submitted

The Australian Government says it is providing a further $2 million to help Solomon Islands rebuild after devastating floods in April.

Flash flooding killed at least 21 people and left thousands homeless. About 1,500 people are still being housed in evacuation centres.

destroying many bridges and roads in Honiara and Guadalcanal province, outside the capital.

The funding announced on Thursday takes the total to $5 million.

Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who has just returned from a visit to the Solomons, says Australia "always" stands ready to help its partners in the region.

"Australia has a very constructive and important bilateral relationship with Solomon Islands. And if they do request further help, then obviously we would consider that," he said.

Mr Keenan says the funding will go to restoring road access for thousands of Solomon Islanders.

"This infrastructure is vital to sustaining the country's economy... The repair of these roads and bridges will be a critical step forward in the long-term economic and social recovery from the floods."

Australia and other Pacific Island countries have been involved in a regional assistance mission in Solomon Islands for more than a decade.

Mr Keenan says significant progress is being made in the country.

"Over time, we will be able to draw down the Australian and our partners presence there, and the Solomon Islanders will be able to take care of themselves.

"The timetable is probably to complete that process by 2017."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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