ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SAYS REFORMS IN PACIFIC TOO COMPLEX

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MANILA, Philippine Islands (November 1, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The Asian Development Bank has admitted that the reform programs it has been funding in some Pacific Island countries have been too complex and ambitious for governments to implement on time.

An ADB report says the reform programs in the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are beyond the current capacity of the governments in those countries.

Under a chapter titled "Lessons Learned," the A-D-B agreed it must be sensitive and understanding of the realities in Pacific Island countries before pushing for reforms.

It notes that instituting reforms, particularly reducing the public sector payroll and government cost cutting, is a painful process, requiring courage and commitment from the governments concerned.

The ADB believes governments in the region must realize that reforms will take time and criticized non-government organizations for wanting immediate results.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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