The National Public Health laboratory (NPHL) has received SBD $140,000 worth of laboratory equipment and chemicals s thanks to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) project.
EIF is an AID for Trade program that Solomon Islands benefited from as an LDC.
The EIF project is housed within the Department of External Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET).
Under the EIF program there is a Tier 2 Project called the Solomon Islands Enhanced Capacity for Agriculture Trade (SI-ECAT).
One of the intended results of the ECAT project is to improve and address the capacity of NPHL, MALD and MCILI in food safety and quality assurance.
It is under this that the ECAT project has stepped in to assist NPHL with these lab equipment’s and Chemicals.
Speaking during handing over ceremony the Permanent Secretary for MFAET Mr. Collin Beck highlighted that the ECAT project aims to boost exports of key agricultural commodities, namely taro and cassava, by establishing an appropriate policy environment to increase investment and tap into existing value chains, and boosting the capacity of local testing facilities to ensure compliance in the area of food safety.
“These lab equipment’s and Chemicals have been procured under the ECAT project to help NPHL in its capacity to enable proper testing and analysis of the agricultural products.
“This is an important requirement to be able to export and general food safety for domestic consumption.
“This is why the ECAT project supports procuring of the equipment’s and chemical and I am Happy to be able to stand in front of you and hand over this equipment’s on behalf of my Ministry and EIF ECAT project,” the Permanent Secretary said.
PS Beck urged the NPHL staff to take good care of the equipment is which had been bought in from Australia.
The PS also announced during the handover that the EIF National Implementation Unit staff under his Ministry are now working closely with NPHL staff to build a new office building for NPHL. Work is now ongoing and the construction should start as soon as domestic processes and clearance are fulfilled.
Meanwhile the PS for MHMS Mrs. Pauline McNeil acknowledged the EIF project for funding the lab equipment.
PS McNeil also acknowledged the collaboration between key ministries stating that this is the way forward for the country as a whole.
The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is multi-donor programme, which supports the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in their effort of promoting economic growth and sustainable development by addressing their trade, and trade-related constrains in order to build their capacity to trade and take advantage of global trade.
One of the objective of the project is to expand economic and employment opportunities, through systematic interventions in selected agriculture value chains and associated trade and export promotion activities, to contribute towards the realization of Solomon Islands National Development Strategy (NDS) goal to build better lives for all Solomon Islanders
Solomon Islands joined the EIF program in 2006 and has since benefited from 3 EIF projects, namely the
- Capacity Building Project,
- Tourism Project
- Agriculture project, which we are currently implementing.
The Honiara Craft Centre is one of the EIFs key flagship projects that was implemented in the country under its tourism project.