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Noumea, New Caledonia
Suva, Fiji Islands

NEWS RELEASE September 25, 2000


The Government of New Zealand is committed to increasing its overseas aid program, particularly in the Pacific. It has increased its year 2001 funds to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community by NZ$ 600,000 (US$ 248,121) -- the largest increase given to any Pacific regional organization this year, in both absolute and relative terms. And the good news is that the money is already in the bank.

NZ's annual support for SPC's overall operations and continuing work programs has increased from NZ$ 3.2 to 3.8 million (US$ 1,323,312 to 1,571,433). Support focuses on marine and social resources, recognizing that programs in these areas are crucial to the region, in addressing major issues.

In addition, NZ has agreed to provide additional funds approaching NZ$ 2 million (US$ 827,070) for specific initiatives in land resources, health and education. Of this, nearly NZ$ 500,000 (US$ 206,768) goes to a new regional plant-protection project.

The combined NZ contribution totals NZ$ 5.6 million (US$ 2,315,796) for the Year 2001.

Within SPC's social resources division, roughly half the funds are dedicated to the fast-growing Community Health Program, especially its nutrition and lifestyle diseases section, tuberculosis control and regional health management. The rest benefits programs in the areas of women, population/demography and youth.

As for the marine resources, areas highlighted are rural community fisheries, regional Pacific Ocean policy and enhanced information access.

New Zealand's donation affirms SPC's performance in the region, and follows a series of consultations between SPC Director General Lourdes Pangelinan, and the New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Phil Goff.

To formalize the transfer, New Zealand Consul General Cecile Hillyer will meet with Lourdes Pangelinan and SPC Program Officers on Wednesday, September 27 SPC headquarters Noumea, New Caledonia.

"We so appreciate the strong support and flexibility of New Zealand's aid program. This flexibility allows us to respond in a timely manner when needs arise in the region. Also, for the last three years, NZ has met its promised payments well ahead of time. This helps us enormously in planning and management of our work programs," says Ms Pangelinan.


Sarah Langi English Editor Secretariat of the Pacific Community BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex New Caledonia Tel +687 26 01 96 

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