HAWAII'S EAST-WEST CENTER STILL WITHOUT FIRM 1998 FEDERAL FUNDING

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (October 8, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---Hawaii's East-West Center, whose Pacific Islands Development Program serves as Secretariat for the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders and the U.S.- Pacific Islands Joint Commercial Commission, has not yet received a final budget allocation for the 1998 fiscal year that began October 1.

Legislators are still engaged in determining specific federal funding for the Center's Asia-Pacific educational, research, and exchange activities.

Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives has "zeroed out" the Center, saying it should received no further funding from Washington. The U.S. Senate, on the other hand, recommends $22 million, which would be an increase of $12 million over the fiscal year just concluded.

President Bill Clinton's 1998 administration budget calls for the East-West Center to receive $7 million.

While the matter is being resolved by Washington politicians and bureaucrats, the Center, under a "continuing resolution," is receiving some funding based on its 1997 Washington appropriation.

At a meeting of East-West Center staff Monday, President Kenji Sumida said he expects the final 1998 appropriation to be in the vicinity of $10 - $11 million.

Meantime, Sumida, who will retire as soon as a new Center president is appointed, says the Center's Board of Governors, at a meeting last week, decided to "re-vitalize" the East-West Center Foundation, a separate organization charged with raising funds for the Center primarily from businesses, foundations, and individuals.

One of the new goals of the Foundation will be to develop an endowment fund in support of Center activities.

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