30 Nov 2004

Solomons Government defends spending of Taiwan aid dollars

8:07 pm on 30 November 2004

While the Vanuatu Government battles over granting diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, the neighbouring Solomon Islands Government has had to defend the way aid from Taiwan is spent.

Taiwan is one of Solomon Islands major aid donors.

The Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, has told Parliament that the money is not spent in a politically expedient way.

In answer to queries from the Opposition, he says the aid of around 11 million US dollars annually is used in the national interest.

Sir Allen says each of the 50 Constituencies receive 50 thousand US dollars through the Rural Community Development Fund.

He says the rest of the funds are distributed by his office after being considered by the Policy Evaluation Unit.

The Prime Minister says the Government wants the Taiwan funding channelled through the new Aid Coordination Unit in the Department of Planning and Reform.