TUVALU EXPANDING OUTER ISLAND DEVELOPMENT

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FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (May 5, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Tuvalu's new Prime Minister Ionatana Ionatana has announced outer island development as one of his Government's long-term goals.

Secretary to Government Sau Fatu Sopoanga said a special fund will be established specifically to benefit people living away from the capital.

It will be "something like a trust fund," he said. "We are seeking assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

"The Government," he added, "will be setting up the initial capital fund together with some contributions from the outer islands communities."

Last week, the 12-member Parliament elected Ionatana, the former Minister for Education, Culture, Health and Women's Affairs, the country's new political leader.

Prime Minister Ionatana was one of a number of Parliamentarians who, two weeks ago, crossed the floor and voted with the opposition in a no confidence motion which ousted former, longtime Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu.

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