Solomon Islands consists of nearly 1,000 islands spread over nearly 1.34 million kmĀ² of ocean. Its remote and rugged geography and vulnerability to natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and rising sea levels, presents extreme development challenges for the people of Solomon Islands who live in rural areas (approximately 80% of the population).

In this difficult context, the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP) is the largest and farthest reaching program of its kind in the country. It has reached over 50% of Solomon Islands’ population and operates in all 9 provinces and 172 wards of the country, from the atoll of Ontong Java to the north, Rennell and Bellona to the south, Anuta and Te Kopia to the East and Shortlands to the west.

The purpose of RDP is two-fold:

  1. Community Infrastructure and Services: To improve basic infrastructure and services in rural areas through community-driven development.
  2. Agricultural Partnerships: To strengthen the linkages between smallholder farming households and markets through agriculture
    partnerships and support.

Since it began in 2008, RDP has provided funding and technical support to implement more than 1636 projects, activities, and partnerships impacting more than 337,162 Solomon Islanders in rural communities across the country. The program is designed to ensure the inclusion and participation of all community members, with a specific emphasis on women, youth and people with disabilities. RDP is a government initiative co-funded by the World Bank, Australian Government, European Union, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.