20 Jun 2007

RAMSI says it's happy to focus its efforts within its mandate

10:38 am on 20 June 2007

The Solomon Islands Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, says it is happy to focus its efforts on the country's rural development, if it remains within its mandate.

This comes after the Solomon Islands government declared that RAMSI should address economic growth and rural development in the country in future.

RAMSI's development coordinator, Blair Exell, says it is already working in rural areas, and is engaging in road building and community-centred activities.

And, Mr Exell says it is trying to accommodate the preference of the government.

"In the context of that mandate and in those discussions we did actually look at how we can do that. Obviously, RAMSI can't do everything, and there needs to be an appropriate focus, so that RAMSI itself does not overreach, but yes, in discussion with the government we are happy to look at whether we can do more and where that should be."

Mr Exell says it is hard to predict whether an increase in rural development would correspond in a cut in other areas.