3 Feb 2004

European Union to assist Niue aid relief but amount still under discussion

3:32 pm on 3 February 2004

The European Union Aid Commissioner says they will give money towards relief aid for Niue, following its devastation from Cyclone Heta last month, but the amount is still being discussed.

EU officials are assessing projects on the island, following Niue's acceptance into the African Carribean Pacific group of nations last year.

Poul Nielson says he indicated to Niue's deputy premie the final amount of aid money depends on the completed EU needs assessment.

"We are able to release some 600 thousand euros, which is the B envelope in our planning and allocation for money for Niue. And the A envelope, the real predictable money for development work, is 2 million, but the B envelope is more for unforeseen and not yet allocated or clearly decided things and we might consider this situation to release."

Mr Nielson says it's important not to give up long-term development activities in Niue, which are still under discussion with other donors.

Mr Nielson says they can release the money for aid, hopefully in the near future.