Civil unrest, a lack of basic infrastructure, and vulnerability to natural disasters have combined to make the Solomon Islands one of the least developed nations in the Pacific. Caritas Australia is helping Solomon Islands communities improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene, invest in early childhood and adult education, promote social justice, and be more prepared for natural disasters.
Why do we work in the Solomon Islands?
In 2013, GDP per person in the Solomon Islands was US$3,400 – just one-twelfth of Australia’s. A variety of factors have combined to make The Solomon Islands one of the least developed nations in the Pacific:
- Ethnic violence and civil unrest have forced many people from their homes and undermined the country’s stability. In 2003 the Solomon Islands government sought help from a multinational force to restore peace and disarm militias.
- The movement of displaced people to urban areas has placed extra pressure on the country’s infrastructure. In 2012, fewer than one in three Solomon Islanders had access to adequate sanitation facilities. (WHO) As a result, water related diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria are common health concerns.
- The Solomon Islands archipelago is also prone to natural disasters. In 2014 the country was ranked 6th on the World Risk Index, which compares countries by their vulnerability to natural disasters. (OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database).
Our work in the Solomon Islands
Caritas Australia supports programs in the Solomon Islands that focus on social justice, disaster risk reduction, early childhood and adult education, and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Through our work, more than 5,000 Solomon Island school children have been introduced to social justice themes of equality, leadership, peacebuilding and environmental stewardship.
In 2012/13, more than 80 teachers were trained in a program that uses nursery rhymes and games to prepare children for natural disasters. Around 1,800 students aged between 4 and 15 have benefitted from the program. Find out more via the link below.