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Vows to continue controversial development fund

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 30, ,2009) - TAIWAN says it will not back down from supporting Solomon Island’s rural sector through its Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF).

Ambassador George Chan made the statement yesterday after receiving $486,846 from the Taiwan appeal committee to help victims of the flooding in August.

He said Taiwan is a close ally of Solomon Islands and will continue to support its development endeavours.

Mr Chan said the RCDF issue continues to receive heavy criticism from the people.

"Despite these criticisms we will not back down but continue with our funds to help the rural sector," he said.

He said the funds are geared towards improving the lives of the rural people in order to participate in development income generation projects.

Taiwan is also helping Solomon Islands through health, education, agriculture and other technical support.

Over the past months, the RCDF funding has been criticised by members of the public accusing their MPs of misusing it and dishing it out to their supporters only.

Apart from the Rural Livelihood Fund and the Millennium Development Fund, RCDF is currently controlled by the MPs.

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