WASHINGTON (Sept. 29, 2022) — Today, during the first-ever United States-Pacific Island Country Summit, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced a slate of ambitious U.S. initiatives to meet Pacific priorities and forge new partnerships, including the $20 million MCC-Solomon Islands Threshold Program between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Solomon Islands.
The United States has directly provided more than $1.5 billion to support the Pacific Islands over the past decade and today announced more than $810 million in additional expanded programs.
“This summit reflects our deep and enduring partnership with the Pacific Islands, one that’s underpinned by a shared history, values, and enduring people-to-people ties,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a leaders’ working lunch. “One of the messages that we’ve heard loud and clear from Pacific Island leaders is that building resilience is about more than equipping communities to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis, which for many of you is an existential threat; it’s also about preparing communities to weather a wide range of interrelated shocks that we know have caused cascading effects”
MCC-Solomon Islands Threshold Program is a four-year grant that promotes sustainable economic development through the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation Project, which will strengthen government capacity to manage inclusive tourism projects and potentially lead to entrepreneurship opportunities for women, and the Forest Value Enhancement Project, which seeks to provide communities with economically viable alternatives to logging.
As part of this grant program, MCC and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today a new partnership to implement the Solomon Islands Tourism Investment Facilitation Project.
“We are thrilled to launch this new partnership with the IFC to increase tourism investments in Solomon Islands, ultimately delivering new jobs and fostering local economic activity,” said MCC CEO Alice Albright. “This is the first MCC-IFC partnership in support of a country program, and I hope this collaboration will serve as a pilot for future cooperation around the globe.”
Permanent Secretary Bunyan Sivoro of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) emphasized that the “MCT looks forward to working together with MCC and IFC to implement the Solomon Islands Tourism Investment Facilitation Project. We believe this investment can play a critical role in bringing economic benefits to the people of Solomon Islands.”
The Administration’s Roadmap for a 21st-Century U.S.-Pacific Island Partnership seeks to strengthen and support U.S.-Pacific Islands partnership; build U.S. capacity in the Pacific; coordinate with allies and partners; take urgent action on the climate crisis, clean energy, and sustainable infrastructure; forge economic partnership and support economic recovery; bolster security cooperation and maritime protection; improve digital connectivity and cyber security; combat COVID-19 and support health security; and address war legacies.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.