Organisers of the 2023 Pacific Games have rejected claims that the money used on the event could be better spent ©Getty Images

Jimmie Rodgers, chairman of the National Hosting Authority which is helping to organise the 2023 Pacific Games, has claimed that the Solomon Islands' hosting of it will act as a catalyst for further development projects in the country.

Rodgers was responding to public criticism that the money spent on the Games should be used for other areas of society that they feel is in greater need.

"There’s a lot of talk about whether the Pacific Games should be delayed or left out so the money for the Games can be redirected to support other priorities the country has," said Rodgers.

"The Pacific Games is not just about two weeks of Games but is a catalyst for major development projects and billions of dollars.

"Some major development projects are the Kukum Highway and our International Airport because their target is for the Pacific Games.

"Without the Pacific Games those programs would have stalled, because of COVID-19 some of them would have been cancelled but because the Pacific Games is coming, the donors had an extended grace period so that they can actually deliver on these programs."

Honiara is set to take centre stage for the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games ©Getty Images
Honiara is set to take centre stage for the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games ©Getty Images

Rodgers explained how the country is receiving vast sums of development fund over the next 20 months that would not have been offered if the Solomon Islands was not hosting the Pacific Games.

"Right now as we speak, the only major development project going on at fast rate in the country is the construction of the Pacific Games facilities," said Rodgers.

"That’s looking at throwing into our economy in the next 20 months almost SBD 1.5 billion (£141 million/$186 million/€169 million) of development funds.

"We cannot get that fund in any other programmes.

"These are funds that development partners put in so that we can have facilities not just of the Games, but facilities that will live on after the Games so that our people, especially our young people, our sports people can use as a legacy."

The 2023 Pacific Games is set to be the first time that it is hosted in the Solomon Islands, with capital Honiara serving as host city.

A total of 24 nations are expected to participate across 24 sports from November 19 to December 1 next year.