28 Jan 2011

Taiwan seeking more accountability for aid dollars slows funding in the Marshall Islands

2:35 pm on 28 January 2011

A delay in funding assistance from the government of Taiwan is preventing some Marshall Islands businesses from being paid.

Taiwan annually provides about $10 million to the Marshalls, largely for development projects, but it won't release the latest quarterly funds until it reviews a progress report.

Taiwan is looking for greater accountability for its aid spending, which in the past has been provided with few strings attached.

The Marshall Islands government has only just delivered the report and our correspondent Giff Johnson says a number of local businesses have completed work or supplied goods but haven't been paid.

"Much of the project work is contracted out to local construction companies or relates to purchases at local vendors so until the money is received the government can't pay its vendors."

Giff Johnson says the Marshalls Government says its report was late due to having to collect information from outer islands.