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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, May 17) – Ambassador of Republic of China or Taiwan, Antonio Chen, has formally released the first quarterly payment of the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) during his meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare today.

Mr Chen says the Development Fund is to help Solomon Islands Rural Development and Taiwan has contributed enormously to this cause.

He says even though the Development Fund draws some criticism, it is the only fund which goes down to the core of rural areas, and helps those 85 percent of the national population in the country.

Mr Chen says the Fund is Taiwan’s assistance to Solomon Islands, with a total of 20 million dollars [US$2.9 million] per annum.

He says it is equally distributed to 50 Constituencies to ensure the assistance will benefit the vast population in the rural areas.

Ambassador Chen told the Prime Minister that Taiwan Government has responded to the request for the release of the fund in record time.

He says the Embassy received the government request last Friday, and it has been approved and released today because we understand the fund would help the social stability.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare thanked the Taiwan Government and the Embassy of Republic of China in Honiara for the prompt response.

May 18, 2006

SIBC: http://www.sibconline.com.sb

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