23 May 2002

European Union to withold some aid payments to Solomon islands

10:29 am on 23 May 2002

The European Union says it will continue to withhold a major aid package to Solomon Islands until issues such as law and order and economic management are addressed.

The EU yesterday(tues) announced funding of just over five million US dollars for development in rural areas and to support civil society.

It is one part of the aid earmarked for Solomon Islands under the Cotonou Agreement, under which the EU supports development in African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries.

The Head of the EU delegation based in Port Moresby, Anthony Crasner, says there's an additional package of around 60 million US dollars intended to compensate Solomon Islands for fluctuations in its agricultural prices.

But Mr Crasner says this aid, called stabex, is dependent on government action to resolve the problems affecting the country.

"And there are quite significant amounts of money which would be norally available under the STABEX facility. And these will certainly not be committed and disbursed until the issues of law and order, economic management and sustainable natural resources management are suitably addressed."

The Head of the EU delegation based in Port Moresby, Anthony Crasner