Despite the rapid economic growth experienced by the Solomon Islands from 2003 to 2008, recent conflicts have made the country unstable and has disrupted education, services and business. Key concerns for the country are to restore law and order, support economic recovery and growth and to address basic social needs. Today, transportation and communication links across the country remain inadequate, restricting opportunities for engagement in the formal economy. Climate change will be a major impediment to the achievement of sustainable development in the Solomon Islands, as all economic and social sectors are likely to be adversely affected, and the cost of adaptation will be disproportionately high. The Solomon Islands rank at 157 out of 187 countries in the 2014 Human Development Index.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF is helping to address development challenges in the Solomon Islands through the UNCDF/UNDP Provincial Governance Strengthening Programme (PGSP). This programme aims to improve governance and service delivery through fiscal decentralization and increased local investment capacity, to bridge funding and service gaps in provincial areas. There is a strong emphasis on improving basic capacity for public expenditure management in all nine provincial governments, so that authorities can produce and execute credible budgets through appropriately participatory and transparent procedures.
To address the climate change challenge in the Solomon Islands, UNCDF is piloting its “Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility.” The facility, known as “LoCAL,” increases climate change adaptation financing while strengthening the capacity of local governments and of the local climate change adaptation planning process through a system of performance-based grants.
In inclusive finance, UNCDF is active with its Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP). PFIP aims at finding new ways of serving hard-to-reach populations, while fostering greater commitment and cooperation to build inclusive financial systems throughout the region. At the core of its efforts is building branchless banking platforms that can reach low income and rural households, the vast majority of which are unbanked.
Moreover, the Least Developed Countries Fund for savings-led market leaders for inclusive finance (MicroLead), aims to increase access to financial services, particularly savings, by supporting the expansion of microfinance savings-led market leaders in underserved countries.