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$1m District Development Project funds by December, says Minister

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 28 SEPTEMBER 2022: The districts that have almost completed their long term Strategic Development Plans on how to utilize the $1 million tala allocated under the District Development Project, will be able to draw the funds by December 2022.

The project that targets social and human development is under the Ministry of Women, Community & Social Development (MWCSD).

The Minister in charge, Leota Laki Lamositele Sio confirmed that of the 20 districts already registered, 10 will be ready to draw the funds by December having met all requirements.

“Some of these districts are in the last part of finalising their development projects and the Ministry is assisting with all the necessary preparations,” said Leota.

“There are districts already in line to receive their $1m, and should get them by the end of December, “he said.

Leota said the money is available but the districts need to submit their development plans and financial breakdowns, the audited financial report on utilising the $200,000 allocated to establish their offices and employees.

He said districts have taken different options in establishing offices as some opted to build a new building while others renovated existing buildings for offices.

All districts need to satisfy the guidelines set down for the project, and once the $1m is given out to districts, the Government has no say in how the districts utilise their $1m.

Asked if the Government has considered challenges that might arise from bad planning in utilising the money, Leota said that was why they set up guidelines that must be complied with.

“This is a new project and we expect challenges, but we emphasise, encourage and build the capacity of the people to follow and comply with the guidelines,” said Leota.