The Solomon Islands, located in the south Pacific Ocean, make up a country that lies to the east of Australia. The Solomon Islands is one of the least developed countries in the Pacific for a few reasons.
Why the Solomon Islands Are Vulnerable
Between 1998 and 2003, the Solomon Islands suffered ethnic tensions and civil unrest. As result, the domestic infrastructure of the country was severely damaged. The geographic location of the islands makes the country particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, especially those that are water-related.
After the ethnic tensions and civil unrest had dramatically affected the Solomon Islands, the country’s prime minister requested Australian assistance. In response, Australia and New Zealand worked with the Solomon Islands to draft the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). The Pacific Islands Forum wholeheartedly endorsed RAMSI, and was supported in its undertaking by then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
RAMSI set up a comprehensive assistance plan focusing on the economy to better help people in the Solomon Islands. On June 30, 2017, RAMSI concluded, having improved the Solomon Islands’ economic capacity. RAMSI will likely be replaced by a new bilateral policy development program to ensure that the Solomon Islands’ growth continues in leaps and bounds.
The United States is helping the Solomon Islands work towards such a bilateral policy. In particular, the State Department has done detailed research into the ongoing policies of the Solomon Islands. There are opportunities to work to help people in the Solomon Islands through the U.S. State Department’s internship program or its career options.
Help from Organizations
There are several organizations helping to eliminate the causes of poverty in the Solomon Islands. Caritas Australia is one such organization. Caritas Australia focuses on helping people through community-driven efforts: improved access to water, sanitation, hygiene and heavy investments into education. Along the way, Caritas Australia promotes social justice for those living on the islands, and also prepares permanent residents of the islands to face natural disasters. For example, in 2012 and 2013, Caritas Australia trained more than 80 teachers to use nursery rhymes and games to prepare children for natural disasters.
The organization has vacancies, so those interested can work to help people in the Solomon Islands. While serving with organizations that directly help people in the Solomon Islands would be a powerful way to make an impact on people’s lives, other forms of advocacy from home are also important. Political advocacy for legislation that impacts international policies is an influential way to ensure that poverty across the world is reduced, bit by bit.
– Smriti B Krishnan