THE RAPID Employment Project (REP) initiated for unemployed youths from settlements within Honiara is now set to undergo implementation after its official launching in Honiara yesterday.
The project funded for by donor partners including the World Bank is aimed to provide short term employment and training for the urban unemployed in Honiara.
Basically to provide the opportunity for urban residents to increase their incomes through short term employment and acquire the knowledge, skills and experience that are necessary to operate in work places.
World Bank Operations Manager for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Kanthan Shankar during the launching said World Bank is delighted to provide assistance to this important project.
He also thanked the AusAID and the New Zealand Government for their collaboration in funding the project.
“Through this collaboration, the government and development community recognizes the unique challenges urban employment presents in this country.
“Doing so, this project will provide the means for the government to directly address the needs of the urban poor through the promotion of legitimate income earning activities,” he said.
Caretaker Minister of Infrastructure Development, Stanley Sofu emphasized that the project is an opportunity for urban residents in Honiara;
“Thus, I would like to encourage the urban unemployed to make use of the opportunity and to participate in the programs under the project.”
“Achieving the end results would be very encouraging,” he said.
Mr Sofu said the achievements will be a complementary to the services being provided by the Government through the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and those of the Honiara City Council.
“In this regard, the caretaker government of Solomon Islands is therefore very supportive of the project and will ensure through the Ministry of Infrastructure Development that any work done is within the required specifications, said Sofu.
“It would however, not be acceptable if those individuals who have participated cannot use their experiences and the knowledge gained through the project to build their own lives or to sustain their families.
“The project must be seen as providing the essential basics for communities to adequately sustain their living.”
Mr Sofu said so much hard work has been done so far by those involved and it will be unwarranted if the project does not achieve and sustain its goal.
“Thus I urge all participants to maintain that level of hard work during the implementation stage so as to be able to fully achieve the objectives,” he added.
The project will be a jointly implemented by the Honiara City Council and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.
World Bank estimates a total cost of US$7.2 million for this project over a five year period with the start of the project on the initial amount of $24 million to kick start.
The project is expected to provide roughly 500,000 labour days to 7,500 beneficiaries within Honiara over its five year lifespan from 2010 – 2015.
It is expected that the implementation of the project will commence anytime later in the year.