FIJI REINSTATED IN BRITISH BILATERAL AID PROGRAM

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SUVA, Fiji (May 7, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Fiji has been reinstated in the British government's bilateral aid program for the Pacific region, three years after it was excluded.

Fiji was officially included again last month, joining three other Pacific countries that benefit from the agreement, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Island Networks Corporation reports.

Britain decided to review its Fiji policy after recent positive developments in the country, especially the successful revision of the undemocratic 1990 Constitution.

The Elections Office in Suva was the first to benefit from the new bilateral program. It received $F 33,000 ($US 16,000) from the British government to promote voting awareness during the lead-up to next year's general elections.

Fiji was excluded from the bilateral aid program when Britain carried out its last major review of its assistance priorities for the Pacific and Asia region in 1995.

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