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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, April 30) - The Asian
Development Bank (ADB) says Nauru is in deep economic trouble and things are
getting worse.

The ADB says that despite the help both the bank and the
Australian aid agency, AusAID, have given to Nauru to improve its economic
management, there has been little improvement.

In its Outlook 2003 Report on Nauru, the Asian Development Bank
says that both AusAID and the ADB have given assistance to the Nauru Government
to improve economic management, reform the budget system, re-establish banking
services and restructure the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust.

However, the ADB says their efforts have had little impact
because of a lack of political commitment to change and the very limited
technical capacity of Nauru's bureaucracy.

It says there is a shortage of Nauruans with appropriate skills;
senior bureaucrats frequently do not turn up for work; and public workers are
not getting paid.

Nauru has its national elections on Saturday and the Asian
Development Bank has suggested a set of priorities for the new government
starting with doing away with large budget deficits.

May 1, 2003

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