7 Jul 2006

Forum ready to provide more help if needed for people repatriated from Nauru

1:33 pm on 7 July 2006

The Pacific Islands Forum says it is ready to help 1500 I-Kiribati and Tuvaluans settle in once they have been repatriated from Nauru.

The former Nauru phosphate company workers and their families are all expected to be home by the end of this month after being stranded on the island for years awaiting outstanding wages.

Taiwan is footing the three and a half million US dollar wage bill while Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru and the European Union have come up one million dollars to pay for shipping the families home.

The Forum is helping distribute the funds and the secretary general, Greg Urwin, says it'll be on hand to help the families settle.

"We're certainly interested in seeing how it goes and we'd be happy to support Tuvalu and Kiribati an anything that needs to be done at that end. We've concentrated very much in terms of addressing the situation in Nauru itself which was starting to deteriorate."

Mr Urwin thanked the countries involved for their support.