A cross-party group of Australian senators and MPs are embarking on a five-day visit to gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing the people of Solomon Islands, including the impact of multiple crises on their livelihoods, and the solutions to these pressing problems.
Sally Sitou MP, Senator Tammy Tyrrell, Hon Kevin Hogan MP, David Smith MP and Senator Karen Grogan will travel to Honiara and Western Province, visiting programs run by Save the Children, the Fred Hollows Foundation, Oxfam, Caritas, and other international and local non-government organisations.
They will experience first-hand the transformative nature of Australian overseas development assistance and locally led solutions when it comes to the climate crisis, disaster mitigation and adaptation, food security, education and healthcare. With a focus on gender in livelihoods, workforce participation (early years), vocational training and disability inclusion.
Save the Children Australia Executive Director of International Programs Francis Woods said:
“Solomon Islands is on the front line of the climate crisis, despite contributing very little to global carbon emissions, and is still recovering from the impact of the global pandemic on the economy and communities. Many families are still feeling the lasting impacts of Cyclone Harold, which hit the Pacific Island nation just after COVID lockdowns began in 2020.
“This visit will provide a valuable opportunity for parliamentarians to connect with communities and witness first-hand the work they are doing to provide solutions and strategies to address the most pressing issues they are facing right now.
“We are grateful for the active support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian High Commission in Honiara in delivering this opportunity for our parliamentarians.”
The Australian Regional Leadership Initiative is a Save the Children Australia project, made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2015, Save the Children has delivered 14 learning tours to countries including Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Fiji and Kenya.
Save the Children last week announced a new $31.8 million project with the Green Climate Fund to enhance climate knowledge and resilience in Solomon Islands. The locally led project will directly reach about 185,000 people, or a quarter of the country’s population.
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