The Solomon Islands’ Social Policy Response to Covid-19: Between Wantok and Economic Stimulus Package

Solomon Islands was caught off guard when Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. Most of its initial efforts were to ensure that the deadly virus did not venture beyond its borders into the community. As a result, it has only recorded 18 border cases to date (8 February 2021). In Solomon Islands, the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was mitigated by two main sources: the community and the state. People’s survival and livelihood were primarily supported by a set of relational networks made possible by customary land tenure and social capital at the local level, known as the wantok system. In addition, a plan called the Economic Stimulus Package was at the core of the government’s formal social policy response.