19 Jun 2007

Solomons government says RAMSI should focus on economic growth and rural development

3:04 pm on 19 June 2007

The Solomon Islands government says the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, should focus its efforts on the country's economic growth and rural development.

A two-man taskforce, appointed by the Pacific Island Forum, is in Solomon Islands to review RAMSI's framework of operations.

The prime minister's secretary, John Roughan, says the mission should ensure its help is based on the priorities of his country.

He says it should work in close partnership with his government, not as a separate entity.

"It is not an either or. It is like saying would you prefer to have legs or your arms. It is one body. But there is an accent on the rural areas, the villages. This has to be central in their thinking and understanding. It is not business as usual with a little bit of rural development. It is the village as central to one's thinking and understanding."

John Roughan says the country needs an improvement in its infrastructure, including roads, schools and hospitals.