U.S. BEEFS UP EMBASSY STAFF IN SUVA

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USAID office returns after 15-year absence

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 17, 2010) - Fiji’s interim administration has approved the appointment of two US Agency for International Development officers to the US embassy in Suva.

The two USAID positions will be filled next month.

Fiji’s interim Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, said the appointments mark a return of a USAID office to Suva after a lapse of fifteen years.

Ratu Inoke says the officer’s duties will include overseeing all USAID programs in the Pacific.

[PIR editor’s note: In a Fijilive report, Kubuabola also mentions that the mission director and program officer will also include "working with bilateral projects and existing regional organizations and missions to fund global climate change programs; oversee HIV/AIDS programs in Papua New Guinea and disaster management programs in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands."]

A spokesman for the US Embassy says details of specific projects and funding are likely to be announced in October or November.

But he says the appointments are in line with US policy towards Fiji of doing no harm to the people of Fiji and continuing with economic assistance, with a strong emphasis on disaster preparedness and relief.

He says the new US Embassy in Suva is now due to be ready in March next year.

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