Population: 581,318 (July 2008 est.)
Surface area: 28,450 sq km
Currency: Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $1,900 (2007 est.)
The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.
Economy – overview:
The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Prior to the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
Major Export Commodities: timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
Remittances: US $18 million (2006)
Human Development Index 2007/2008 ranking: 129 out of 177
Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA in 2006 was US $178.85 million. Major development partners include Australia, the European Community, Japan and New Zealand.
Total External Debt: US $166 million (2004)
United Nations Membership date: 19 September 1978
New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L
New York, N.Y. 10017-4709USA
Telephone: 212-599-6192, 6193
CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2007/2008.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org
Updated June 2008