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$12 million initiative seeks to counter rising fuel costs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 10, 2011) – The Asian Development Bank has provided a 12 million US dollar funding package to help cut fossil fuel use in the Pacific, by targetting five nations which rely heavily on imported diesel.

The bank is providing technical assistance to help consumers in the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu use power more efficiently.

An energy specialist at the ADB, Robert Kesterton, says importing fuels places a major strain on local economies and trade balances.

He says the volatility and high level of oil-based fossil fuel prices is a threat to the ongoing social, economic, and environmental development and sustainability of these countries.

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