20 Jul 2015

Solomons government to channel disaster funds through MPs

8:22 pm on 20 July 2015

The Solomon Islands opposition has called on the government to reconsider its decision to channel disaster relief funds directly through members of parliament.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

About 400 thousand US dollars has been approved by Cabinet, which will be paid to MPs for disaster relief in the 33 constituencies affected by recent heavy rains.

The opposition leader, Jeremiah Manele, says the Cabinet decision is an affront to the National Disaster Management Office which he says has also put in a request for 400 thousand dollars for ongoing relief work.

"Now it turns out cabinet has made a decision and approved some funds to go through the members of parliament. So the opposition believes that this money should be channeled through the NDMO who has the capacity to administer relief efforts and relief supplies for that matter."

Jeremiah Manele says if the funds are disbursed, various MPs from both the government and the opposition will each get around 12,000 US dollars to use in their constituencies.

The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says the money is to be used to buy rice for cyclone affected people as a first line of support.

In a statement it also says the National Disaster Management Office will deliver its own relief assistance once assessments of the affected constituencies have been completed.

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