AID TO BE USED ONLY ON PROJECTS: COOKS PM HENRY

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (September 2, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Sir Geoffrey Henry, says aid from Australia and New Zealand will no longer be used to support the Polynesian country's operating budget.

Henry says the focus of aid now will move from budgetary assistance to specific project support, and only projects that will promote economic sustainability.

During the coming fiscal year, Australia and New Zealand will provide more than 90 percent of the $8.5 million the Cook Islands will receive in foreign aid.

Sir Geoffrey says, under the new aid policy, there will be a special fund for the development of the outer islands. He says fishing and black pearl farming could be further developed in the northern Cooks and more tourist facilities could be developed in the southern Cooks.

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