16 Oct 2007

Seven small Pacific Island States call for more aid

7:46 am on 16 October 2007

The seven Small Island States in the Pacific have called for more aid help to address a raft of critical issues.

Speaking after their annual meeting ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum summit, the Premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says the small states are grateful for the help already received through the Pacific Plan, but says they are encouraging donors to contribute more to the Forum's SIS unit.

This unit is being used to develop common approaches for the small countries to issues such as climate change, transport links, the cost of fuel and of drugs.

Young Vivian says health is one sector in which they need serious help.

"The scary thing that worries me, from an island state, is the health problems, particularly HIV and pandemic flu, and also non-communicable diseases. This is scary for us in the Pacific and we need to wake up and do something serious at this point in time."

The Premier of Niue, Young Vivian.